With the exception of chopsticks, we generally don’t give a whole lot of thought to utensils, or how well they bridge that whole plate-to-mouth gap. Sure, restaurants can spend scads on trendy flatware, but as long as the fork pierces the (perfectly cooked) steak, it pretty much goes unnoticed by most diners, including us.
Until the system breaks down, that is. Sitting down to an otherwise lovely meal at La Voile on Friday night, we eagerly tucked into a gorgeous-looking veal blanquette, carefully transferring it from hot crock to plate with the pretty cutlery (I.D.’ed by one shrewd Chowhound as Laguiole). Bite one: fantastic. We set down the utensils, and that’s when things went downhill.
Before we could attempt bite two, the round-handled knife slid down off its perch on the plate’s edge, landing in a puddle of sauce. Minor accident, right? We wiped it clean, then set it down again.
Ploop. Into the sauce.
After three more rounds of this, we were left with saucy hands, a dirty napkin, and two choices: Set the dang knife on the tablecloth between cuts, or skip the etiquette-resistant cutlery altogether.
Feeling a little more like Fred Flintstone than Emily Post at this point, we opted for the latter, gnawing into the bigger bites whole. A bit uncouth, yes. If the veal wasn’t so impossibly tender, we’d have given up. And if La Voile wasn’t the only place we’ve been able to find gougeres in this town, we might be a little less forgiving.
Still, next time we’re ordering la soupe.