Two nights ago, on a whim, a friend and I decided to visit the two-year-old restaurant Lark, which only just appeared on my dining-out radar due to the fact that in 2004 I couldn't afford a sandwich at Alligator Pear (R.I.P.). Not that I can honestly afford an $8 serving of mashed potatoes, but am I ever glad I ordered the pommes de terre "Robuchon" (an example, though not Lark's, pictured) anyway!
The stuff of which dreams are made arrived at the table in a small cast-iron pot, around the same time as our tasty Ricotta gnudi (dumplings) and fennel-flavored sea bass. It didn't look like much, but savoring small bites of the thickly-whipped potatoes was the way to go. I had the totally unfounded reaction of someone who might've been stranded on a desert island with no butter for five years. I think my eyes may have rolled back in my head.
Kauffman alerted me to the dish's namesake, the French chef Joel Robuchon, who after researching on egullet, I've discovered makes some ridiculously foofy food. Naturally, there's no way I'd ever pay $155 for a "Black truffle in a hot pastry," but I will be having the potatoes at Lark again. They were just one of the place's charming, comforting features.
Others: unbelievably flattering lighting, a server who explained half of the menu's terms without making us feel stupid, and the wise decision to broadcast Neko Case and Iron and Wine at a pleasant level. This town will make a fine diner of me yet!