Recently I finished reading the Best Food Writing 2007, edited by Holly Hughes. My favorite essay was easily Todd Kliman’s, Rare Tuna, a short investigative piece that examines the perplexing decline in the quality of tuna served in sushi bars and restaurants. Why yes, Todd, I noticed it too. In fact, I no longer order tuna, even at sushi restaurants. Why does tuna taste so bad these days? In trying to figure out this culinary whodunit, Kliman, a food writer at Washingtonian, follows his taste buds back to the Inn at Little Washington, where he remembers last having tasty tuna. According to Kliman, Patrick O’Connell at the Inn is the only Chef in the Washington, DC region that procures 1++ grade tuna.
So I finished the article last night and this morning my friend Bridget sends an email to a group of friends thanking us for her wedding present, a gift certificate for the tasting menu at the Inn at Little Washington. Serendipity! Her wedding was like a year ago and she and her husband Joe decided to go on their anniversary. How nice for them. So, getting to the important part…I email Bridget and ask her about the tuna:
“I NEED TO KNOW. DID YOU HAVE ANY TUNA?”
3 minutes later I get this response:
“OMIGOD, I ATE THE TUNA! …it was the BEST. TUNA. EVER. It was so good that I honestly feel like I can never eat tuna anywhere else ever again. It was so perfect that it ruined me.”
Now, all I can think about is getting some of that tuna. The tasting menu and a night at the Inn costs just under a gazillion dollars. But, really, how can I not go? It’s as if I’m missing some big part of life, like not going to the prom. If I don’t get to taste that tuna, I’ll be on my death bed, and right before I die, I’ll whisper to my grandson that I wore a dress with purple sequins and matching purple eye shadow to my prom and that my only regret in life was not having tasted the tuna at the Inn at Little Washington. How sad would that be?