Menu

unfold the napkin, hold the word
bread
in your hand, in your mouth
persimmon chevre rooibos mandarin
translate syllables to plate
·
amuse
the palate, tickle
dill roe custard pickle
say it with one bite, pour the Burgundy, white
·
crab
I dare you
celery nasturtium pomegranate verjus
not to fall in love
·
power is with the orator
Caesar
I have some choice words for you:
romaine brioche parmesan anchovy
abstinence is Pyrrhic victory
·
pumpkin
sweetheart, honey
crust pepito cinnamon marshmallow
come to me, baby, I need you
·
and you need me
lobster
flesh
risotto mushroom urchin samphire
butter the lines, let them slide, let them simmer
·
take the words as they’re served
canapé
pretty, pretty is the pastry
eggplant caponata porcini guanciale
art is in the cheek of the beholder
·
do it! devil the details
swordfish
in the dish
chorizo paella saffron fennel
revel! yellow’s not a color, it’s a flavor
·
scallop
or crenellate, notch, garnish to satisfy
popover clam parsley salsify
taste “salsify” with the ear, savor it there
·
notice how nothing could follow
hen
better than
maple matsutake kale pine
kaleidoscope: beautiful form: kitchen
·
wagyu
makes a haiku
marrow egg potato watercress
marbled beef, bonestrength,
incitement to life, staunch starch
spring tenderness eat
·
cook the food, drink the word
intermezzo
or the other way around
apple cider hot toddy
staccato is the crisp sipped sound
·
bitters
so are lovers
citrus spice gentian anise
remorse, tears, sweat, kiss
·
have you learned nothing yet?
chocolate
wet
caraibe ivoire nib coconut
tongue—word song fork food bliss finish

Note on the Poem

The boldfaced text is verbatim from the menu offered by Chef Brian Runge at a Michelin-rated Chicago restaurant. (He has since moved to another restaurant.) My own text is woven around the menu text. His food is its own poetry; I aim to enhance that.