Monday, March 30, 2009

Restaurant Review: Nothing but Ears

Another Jacques Wool recommendation. The wounded sign with moldy edges hung above the door. Nothing but Ears. At first the name made me a little queasy. But when Jacques Wool speaks, I'm all ears, so I rattled the locked door, knocked with my knuckles, banged with my fist, pressed down on the doorbell, and pounded the door-knocker for at least an hour. An attractive plastic clock in the window read 2 O'clock and said Will Be Back. If it hadn't been for the estimable M. Wool's glowing endorsement coursing through me like endorphins, I would have orphaned my shadow on the doorstep. However, 2 O'clock came around, and I was let into the Nothing but Ears eatery, not knowing what to expect. The place was charming and quaint, much like a colonial inn. The hostess was, I believe, a ghost. She seated me at the long wooden table and handed me the menu. I was apprehensive about reading the menu, as the "nothing but ears" name disturbed me to no end. I expected something horrible. Thankfully,though, the menu consisted of dishes made from ears of corn, as well as that pasta known as orrechia (ears). And so, once again, the images of my horrible fears were replaced by a scene that was quiet and ordinary and harmless and still. "I'll have the orrechia," I told the ghost. "Also, some ears of corn." The ghost vanished in a whirling rope of smoke. Soon a charger of pasta and corn appeared before me. My cellphone played "Funeral March of the Marionette." I picked it up and saw Monsieur Wool's moniker on the caller ID. Wool was chortling. "And so how are you enjoying Nothing but Ears? Is it not the most astounding cafeteria in the region?" I shook my head. "You tricked me, Jacques. I was expecting some kind of creep's chophouse. Instead, here I am in the middle of some haunted colonial inn. And I never knew corn and pasta were such good bedfellows," I quipped. "Did you check out the mural?" Jacques said. I looked behind me and saw that the wall was painted to depict a man in a powdered wig and some kind of colonial tuxedo holding back a velvet curtain. Behind the curtain was row upon row of cornstalks. "That's my kind of art," I told Jacques. He laughed like a dog barking. "Your taste generally runs to lack-blight posters, my friend." After I canceled my phone call with Jacques I finished my meal, paid the tab and tipped the ghost, then walked out into the privileged twilight, nothing but ears, as they say in the restaurant biz. Or at least they do now. Nothing but parsley sprigs.

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