The Eat: An impeccable crock of onion soup.
The Place: East Hampton’s Rowdy Hall.
The Story: Do you burn the roof of your mouth a lot? I have this very distinct memory—I must have been in high school—of going to the dentist after having lunch. “Did you just eat pizza?” he asked. I wondered how he could have known. My palate had betrayed me, he confessed; the hot slice had left a triangular burn mark on the roof of my mouth.
The truth is, I do this all the time. I am ruthlessly impatient, especially when it comes to food, and I suppose it makes sense that I do this for a living. Writing about food is almost as good as eating it. And in writing about it, I don’t have to wait for the immediacy. I can make things happen right this second. But I digress. Why am I talking about burning my mouth with food? Because I do it constantly, and I am especially guilty of this moment of pleasure-meets-excruciating-pain when it comes to the onion soup at Rowdy Hall in East Hampton. I can see that it’s hot. I know that it literally just came out from beneath a broiler. Is that smoke? Is that cheese physically smoking? Now would be a good moment for me to dip a spoon in, right?
What I’m saying is that this soup is so foolishly delicious that I cannot stop myself from doing this dumb thing, over and over again, like a rat drawn to a dosed food lever. I don’t care. I’ll keep doing it. And while everyone holds on for those last dregs of summer, wishing the warm weather on us for just a little longer, I’m waiting for soup weather, for the tear-the-skin-clean-from-my-palate heat. Oh my gosh, that onion soup is so good, and if you have never eaten it, you are missing out on one of life’s truest pleasures. Go get it.