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Acquerello – It’s been a few years since our last meal at this outpost of purity and perfection, and it’s also our first time here without Claude Kolm. Which, in the great offline tradition, means we talk about him all night. (All positive, of course; but next time, he deserves to be invited so he can participate.) Dinner is, as usual, majestic, as is our service…and, as has become our tradition, we’re the last people in the restaurant by something approaching an hour.

When we arrive, Giancarlo already has an empty side table set up for the many wines he knows are arriving with us.

So here’s yet another reason that Acquerello is such a fabulous restaurant: Giancarlo brings an assortment of hand-picked cheeses, describing them in passionate detail, and I comment in passing that there’s nothing on the plate from anywhere in the southern three-quarters of Italy. Moments later, Giancarlo returns with a lavish Sardinian cheese, which he details as if he was merely interrupted in his previous narrative. We all laugh. Then he brings us a half-bottle of incredible dessert wine to match with the late-coming cheese. (4/05)


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