I can’t enjoy nightlife anymore. I remind myself that getting food and drinks well into the night and then blissfully escaping home in a phone-chartered chariot was my main idea of fun – and it was – but it just doesn’t hit like it used to. Restaurants are spendier than ever, and when my options for getting home are hiring a car that costs more than a bottle of Champagne or subjecting my drunk ass to the MTA during prime service change hours, it’s hard to want to leave at all.
Might I suggest going out to lunch as a worthy replacement? In the lucid light of day, when your senses are fresh, everything tastes better: food is more satisfying, and a glass of wine is more poignant. It’s also way easier to get home after.
When the days get shorter and our socializing goes increasingly nocturnal, lunch is the antidote. A midday restaurant excursion is a treat as well as a valuable source of vitamin D. It can be a sunny memory to recall at the end of the day when you go to sleep at a reasonable time with several hours of digestion between you and the dinner you ate at home. It’s called self-care, sweetie.
I used to work in a 2-star Michelin restaurant making dessert, and it was there where I first observed the beauty of lunch from afar. There were a lot of the same flourishes at dinner like an amuse bouche, bread made in-house, freshly churned ice cream, and petit fours, but with fewer courses, which I am okay with because I am not an aristocrat. It was also almost half the price of the dinner menu.
It doesn’t have to be fine dining, but a restaurant lunch should be something you are very excited about and should consist of dishes which you probably wouldn’t make for lunch yourself. In my case that would be a tower of oysters followed by steak tartare, or pho, or a large composed salad, because salad always tastes better when someone else puts it together.
When I pitched this I was informed that lunch has the connotation of being the preferred date time for adulterers. I don’t claim that energy, but if you’re concerned about your partner cheating on you at lunchtime, you probably need to break up. Barring that, maybe you should get on their lunch schedule and see if you can’t make them think about you for the rest of the day.