My father leaves tonight, and as a parting meal he chooses Lark. As always, they are surprised to see me on a weekday, surprised to see me with other people. It is a running joke now. We sit at one of the booths, and I order whatever catches my eye as my mother complains about the dearth of vegetarian options. (She eats meat, just not a lot of it). A salad of endive and beets with blue cheese. Onion soup, with Gruyere toasts. Ricotta gnudi with escarole, a broth. Fat little sardines over assorted vegetables. A soupy risotto made with black rice, bits of chorizo. Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes. Mussels. For once, we each order one dessert. I have sticky toffee pudding with dates and pecans or walnuts, I can't remember which. I steal some hazelnut chocolate mousse from my mother, and my father eats his tarte tatin without interruption.
It will be July before we are all together again.