After my “bento box of pleasure” at Chiso, I managed to squeeze in a second lunch during last month’s Seattle Restaurant Week. The Pink Door has been sitting atop Urbanspoon’s “Best Fine Dining” list for Seattle for so long, and yet I’d never dined there. Finally, I found an inexpensive way to try the Lasagna Pink Door (luscious, not to mention lascivious, like Cafe Lago’s), which followed a dainty and delicious little salad of fennel, mushroom, celery, and Parmesan with Trampetti olive oil and lemon.
But what most intrigued this sex educator was the “Shards of Love” dessert, which The Pink Door describes as “delicate tuile cookies, chaotically stuck in a limoncello scented ricotta cream.” For a fine dining restaurant, this dessert was kind of funny, like a kitchen mistake turned menu item. But in this burlesque-esque restaurant found through an actual pink door on Post Alley, I enjoyed eating what tasted like fortune cookies in lemon sauce–but better.
So what does The Pink Door’s Shards of Love dessert teach us about sex?
It’s all about picking up the pieces–carefully, and with reverence.
The tuile cookies are literally shards from a bigger sheet, and true to the description, they are chaotically stuck in the cream. Given the name of the dish, I’m reminded of shattered relationships.
When I worked in high schools (and junior high schools), one of the most commonly asked questions in my sex ed seminars was “How do I know if I’m really in love?” Students are so focused on how to get in relationships and how to improve them. Unfortunately, we don’t provide enough education on how to get out of bad relationships. Girls tend to cope better with breaking up than boys. They cry and consult with their girlfriends, whereas guys punch walls and puke after drinking their woes away. But they don’t really go away, instead sticking inside. Many a guidance counselor would tell me that guys were more likely to consider committing suicide after break-ups than girls.
I believe this often shapes guys’ future relationships. Males may be commitment-phobic because they don’t want to get stung again, having to deal with the emotions of a bad break-up.
And I ain’t just talking young people here. (And, yes, I’m gender stereotyping a bit.)
I think it’s helpful at the end of a relationship to remember what you once liked about it. Sure, it feels like your life’s in pieces, but at some point you need to pick up those pieces. Isn’t it better to remember the good times? To cherish them? To grow from what you experienced?
Like The Pink Door’s dessert, pick up those shards carefully, scooping up as much sweetness as you can. You’ll look back with fondness instead of bitterness, and probably be a better person for the next one you meet.
First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on May 12, 2011.