Why do people do things they know are bad for them?
The biology of the human body is a powerful force. It can make people do the exact thing they set out specifically not to do. Is there a real payoff to smoking a cigarette when it is raining outside? Your brain, lungs and frozen fingers say no, but a powerful part of your reward system says, “I’ma go out for a smoke.”
I am allergic to raw walnuts. I am sensitive to the extent that my lips swell and my mouth feels like I chewed on a wad of poison oak. I eat them occasionally, and on purpose, anyway. Why do I do this to myself?
Abruzzi serves my second most favorite dish in the universe, tuna carpaccio (beef carpaccio being the first), and they make a ravioli appetizer so decadent that it’s like gnawing on a stick of butter without the shame. Really, it’s amazing. They also make a cheese board with raw walnuts, and while I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore, my body ignored my brain and I ate those delicious, sugared beauties until the itch in my mouth became so unbearable I had to go to the bathroom to try to wipe it out with a paper towel and pat my inflamed lips down. And you know what? They were still delicious. But if I had a pocket time machine, I could have stopped my idiot self. I knew my limitations and I ignored them for whatever reason. I’m an idiot. It’s better than being allergic to cotton, at least. (If you are allergic to cotton, email me. I have questions.)
Let’s talk a moment about tuna carpaccio. It’s a simple dish that when done right (like Abruzzi does it) is mouth gold and when done wrong might as well be expensive low grade sushi without the rice. There was a spot in Arcata that made beef carpaccio but alas, it is gone. Thin-pounded raw meat drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and pepper, and topped with microgreens. It must cost pennies to make, but dayum! Amazing.
The meal, though, was fabulous. The breadboard had a truffle honey that I could have taken a bath in. Our waiter’s name was Blake. He was adorable.
It’s not Abruzzi’s fault my mouth blew up. It’s mine. I’m a weak-willed moron.
5/5 tunas for Abruzzi