How to Move On: Rockfish Soup for One
1 Bottle of Champagne (preferably Grand Cru Chardonnay but I digress)
1 Friendly neighborhood restaurant (go to Hart’s)
1/8 Tab of lysergic acid diethylamide
1 Former lover (or any problem you just can’t seem to shake)
Be Still My Hart’s
There is a restaurant in your neighborhood where everybody knows your name. Hart's, tucked underneath the Franklin Ave shuttle in Bed-Stuy, is such a place. Whether you’re with a friend, a lover, or a solo diner, Nick Perkins and his team have a knack for making every night feel like date night. If you’re the type of person who’s afraid to eat alone, Hart’s is the perfect place to practice*. Some of the loveliest and beautiful people in Brooklyn work there and they’re all happy to see you.
*You should date yourself, often.
- MAKE PLANS
It’s been a year and you’re still trying to be friends with your ex. (If you were lucky enough to ruin your relationship by sleeping together after a long bout of “Best-Friendsmanship” then this guide is particularly in your wheelhouse). You’ve tried to revive the OG friendship through platonic dinners, museum excursions, and bike rides. You even swap stories about recent dates and sexual misadventures. You’re the coolest. You must be when it comes to this particular person. Although you can’t remember the last time you actually enjoyed each other’s company, go ahead and invite The Ex to join you in checking out a new restaurant nearby. It’ll be super fun.
Ingest a small amount of LSD (roughly 1/8 of a dose; less for first-timers). Or don’t.
(Whatever you choose to do, never forget the Cardinal Rule of Microdosing in Public: Don’t get sloppy.)
- ORDER A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE
Your date isn’t drinking. He’s currently on some sort of month-long “cleanse” that strangely enough allows for the consumption of psychedelics and pot. He’s dating someone who is undergoing this “cleanse.” She’s so fun. She’s so cool. She’s never in a bad mood. She’s so busy and hard to keep up with. She’s a professional traveller and has thousands of followers*. Do yourself a favor and order a bottle of wine. It doesn’t have to be Champagne... or does it? (Hart’s has a bottle of Stephane Coquillette Carte d’Or 1er Cru Brut for $70.) Don’t drink it all. Share it with the house but not with your date.
*Actually said this out loud...
- BOUILLABAISSE, BABY
As a child, you were wary of anything non-poultry. These days you’re made of much more adventurous stock. You like to work for your food. Your date once gave you a signed copy of Dinner At The Long Table and you’ve been obsessed with making the “base” and “buoy” (stock and fun bits, respectively) of bouillabaisse ever since. Trust me, you’ll never get around to it so order the soup if it’s on the menu. This is the point where things will start to get weird. When the bouillabaisse hits, so will everything else. George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby” plays and the room becomes warmer, fuzzier. You’re practically dancing in your seat with your glass of wine. Don’t spill. Remember the Cardinal Rule.
Take the room in, with its mid-century light fixtures, and the view, a menagerie of subway foot traffic visible through venetian blinds. It may take a moment to realize the bouillabaisse has come back to life: it’s contents frantically trying to make their escape. Prawns crawl, antennas twitching; the mussels clap, reaching for freedom. Don’t let them escape. Just think of the mess! Ravage your bowl of bouillabaisse. Suck the prawn heads. The eyes pop in your mouth. Leave your spoon untouched. Organize the “buoy” of your rockfish soup according to species, methodically separating carcasses on a dish. You’re feeling viscerally fulfilled. When The Rolling Stones’ “Tops” comes on, take a good look at your date. Glued to his phone, he’s barely touched his food or spoken a word. He’s got no imagination, having joined in on the trip without ever really being present. Fortunately, your sweetheart server has been paying attention to you all night. (This is who should have your Champagne.) You won’t be able to read the bill at this point, as you are three sheets to the wind, but make sure to return the favor: over-tip. Smile to yourself knowing you’ve stumbled onto a breakthrough... and hopefully nothing else because you’re not sloppy, right? You’ve finally had a good time with your ex, but only because he was barely there. Go figure. Go forth! The world is your mussel, dancing in a bowl of soup.