I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for a Caesar. I see the Caesar salad on a menu, and I’m more than likely to order it, if I’m having greenery at all.
Oh, do I hate myself afterwards. Dressing out of a bottle, collecting in a sullen pool at the bottom of the bowl. Croutons that could be used for shrapnel. Either no acknowledgement whatever of anchovies, or a grudging hairy specimen that tastes like it out to be baiting a crab trap.
But every once in a while, I get one that reminds me just why I’ve got such a weakness. This one’s from Oliver’s, the venerable Delaware Avenue fine dining emporium. The server split one for my wife Kathy and I, so I guess you could say this is a half-version.
The kitchen has tucked a few dressed romaine leaves into a ring of toasted crouton. Flakes of parmesan like fresh-fallen snow. A tender white anchovy draped over the ensemble like a jazz singer lounging on a velvet divan … yes, it’s that lovely. Plus, you get to decide just how big you want the lettuce and crouton, as you hack it up yourself.
Divine. Weird way to rig up a lemon half for squeezing, though. Hippity hoppity Easter’s on its way?