Saturday, February 5, 2011

Edo's Squid: Richmond Bucket List #1*

Dish To Die For: pasta

Something happened to me when I went to Edo's Squid that had never happened to me before. When the pasta arrived, I stuck my fork in, put my head down like a horse into a feeder bag, and didn't lift it up again until the bowl was empty. I kept twirling and savoring, twirling and savoring. All around me, the table was littered with other dishes to sample, but none of them mattered. I simply could not stop eating that pasta. It's not that the marinara sauce was that great -- in fact I helped it along by adding some garlic from a nearby side of greens -- but it was the perfect texture of the spaghetti and the just-right way the sauce clung to it that blinded me to the rest of the offerings.

Perhaps I was just escaping from a fraught evening. Between Lynn talking up the place for months, and Chris dragging her feet about coming ("It's not an environment in which I enjoy eating," she primly announced), I really did not know what to expect. What was wrong with this picture? Why would the normally good natured Chris be so bad-tempered about this place, and the more opinionated Lynn claim it was the best restaurant in Richmond?

Here is my theory: Edo's once was a very good restaurant, with a charming ambience and a creative and carefully executed menu. But it has not been able to cope with the resultant popularity. From the chaotic milling of people (with or without reservations)  waiting for tables, to the frantic slapping down of plates by the waitstaff, whatever delights are proferred by the kitchen are overshadowed by anxiety. And one senses that the kitchen is overwrought as well. True, the pasta was perfect, and I also want to give a shout out to the sugar toads. But you could tell by the other dishes that the kitchen was losing its grip back there.

Edo's has its long time customer base, but I believe that these loyalists are fuelled by nostalgia for a restaurant that is not quite as it used to be. Bluntly speaking: it is past its peak. Perhaps its former glory can be regained by better management of reservations, which will both take the anxiety out of being seated and take the pressure off the kitchen and waitstaff. I hope so. Otherwise, it is going to be difficult to persuade Chris to go back. And I so want more of that divine pasta...

*Note: As a result of "On Fumes Alone", Chris created a "Bucket List" of Richmond restaurants for us to visit. This is the first of such visits. For a full list of visits click here.

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1 comment:

Robert de Vos said...

We're going to have to make pasta for you next time you're here!