I order the Famed Ricotta Toast and Jam. Unable to choose just one jam, I timidly ask for three. A Gulliver-sized portion arrives, hanging on to its plate for dear life. Smothered in House Straus milk ricotta, the cheese spills over the edges of the toast, a petticoat peeking out from beneath a skirt of seasonal jams. Aprium/Olallieberry, Santa Rosa Plum/Flowering Thyme and Strawberry/Rose Geranium. This jam is too exquisite to be slathered on bread, it deserves to be eaten with a demi-tasse spoon.
My lunch partner Ann Marie has sensibly ordered a little protein in the form of a vegetable quiche. Baked in a springform pan, the vegetables and custard are more soufflé than frittata, surrounded by a buttery crust and served with a fistful of just-picked salad greens.
I am beginning to descend into a bottomless food coma but not before ordering a slice of Raspberry Rhubarb pie. The pie crust is sparkly with coarse sugar, the fruit sweet enough with just the right amount of pucker. I very well may have found my dream meal and I am heartbroken when it ends.
The following morning, I have the great good fortune to meet Squirl’s pastry chef, Meadow Ramsey. Food people are like theatre people, sharing a common bond and understanding of the crazy workplace in which we spin. Meadow’s kitchen space is tiny, her culinary talent ginormous. She graciously hands me a brown paper bag as a parting gift. Inside I discover not one, but two desserts, or in this case, flight nirvana.
On Wednesday at nigh noon, I begrudgingly board Virgin Air bound for the Garden State. Having forgotten Blondilocks’ adage that ‘jam is a liquid,’ I must check my bag or relinquish my jar of Sqirl’s Rhubarb/Kumquat. There is no discussion; my bag is checked. Safely tucked in my carry-on is a small brown paper bag, a plastic fork and sustenance for the plane ride home. Thank you, Meadow. The malva pudding cake and raspberry-rhubarb pie are all that separate me from the maddening crowd, otherwise known as Flight #166.