Just wondering. There are significant differences. Many kinds of food are legal in many parts of the country. In moderation, food can be good for you. There is no cocaine pyramid. However, in yesterday's DI/DO, when Pete Wells stepped down from the quarterdeck and checked out the Spotted Pig employee party, the consumption he described was on a level of conspicuousness that reminded me of nothing more than the scene near the end of Scarface, when Al Pacino consoles himself with a salad bowl full of cocaine:
He left the kitchen for a moment, carrying a blowtorch. This was to ignite the grappa he’d poured inside two hollowed-out wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. When the flames died, Mr. Ladner filled the wheels with boiled rigatoni, grated cheese, olive oil, butter and what the menu called “mad amounts of large chunk Black Truffle.”
Freebasing parmigiano, followed with large chunk black truffle? You can read the whole menu here, if you dare. Lavish, to be sure, but too perverse to be strictly Rabelaisian, viz: "Foie gras and monkfish, Whole roasted, and served with Molto’s world famous 'Starburst & Red Bull sauce.'" Between Grub Street and DI/DO, you get a pretty good sense of the scope of this thing, but two points might bear further reflection. One: Mario's celebrity has reached a level where his absence from a dinner is news. Two: Lavish as it is, six pigs plus foie, plus all the other goodies, plus the fee for the "babes" passing the cakes, is still a pretty good investment for the publicity it generated. I may have to clip and save this piece and suggest an upgrade from the miniquiches that plague the holidays at my job.