Every now and then one stumbles upon a dessert so sublime that -- for an ephemeral moment -- the rest of the world ceases to exist. Last night I was blessed with just such an experience at a new Bellevue restaurant -- Cantinetta -- which specializes in Tuscan cuisine. The dinner and drinks were all indeed good and carefully prepared and presented, but this dessert brought me to my knees: Nutella Zeppole, Italian-style doughnuts filled with nutella, with a dollop (not enough!) of mascarpone on the side.
Definitely a fork-and-knife operation, as I erred in first attempting to bite into the zeppole, from which issued forth a geyser of warm nutella.
My friend S., beside me, was watching me, and said, "You're not going to share that, are you?"
I admit that I'm not especially fond of the popular practice of the server setting out forks and spoons for everyone prior to dessert when not everyone orders dessert. There's this assumption that dessert is to be shared, and I say bollocks to that. Order your own! (Unless, of course, you're my son or husband, where Permission to Taste is written into the mother/son, wife/husband legal agreement, section 7, paragraph 4, line 19.) Now I don't want anyone getting the idea that I'm selfish; I'm the person who makes multiple desserts for nearly every social event (from scratch, butter, bittersweet chocolate, fresh fruit, etc.), and encourages everyone to have a slice of each, please! But when I'm dining out, I rarely order dessert, and when I do, It Belongs To Me.
Plans are afoot here today to build a portable electric dessert fence, one easily plucked from my handbag when the need arises, that produces an unpleasant but harmless shock when a fellow diner attempts to graze over to my side of the table during the dessert course. Zap! In the meantime, I may have to invest in some yellow caution tape, and be on the lookout, fork tines poised, for the errant zeppole sneak.