A brisk fall day, October, 2017, the year of our lord. Have a lovely pasta dinner at Dell'anima, a wonderful neighborhood trattoria in the West Village, with Braggadocios Roberts, a cute and stylish member of the New York media elite. We lick our plates of pasta clean and demand the check. "Waiter, bring the check right away!" The check is brought. We pay. We leave. It's time for cream.
The Office is an "intimate speakeasy" in the Mandarin Hotel, located on Manhattan's Columbus Circle. Sometimes it's good to be connected to the media elite, because I wouldn't have known of this fine establishment were it not for Braggadocios. We enter the Time Warner Center and take the elevator to the 57th floor and enter the warm, elegant, yet rustic speakeasy, and are struck by the views of Central Park South. We are led to a cozy room filled with handsome leather sofas ans chairs, solidly constructed wood tables, bookshelves with volumes of Dickens and "How to Hunt Geese," crackling fireplaces, etc.
Now to the cream. The Office has table side sundae service, whereby you are brought 1) a portion of vanilla ice cream in a sundae dish; 2) a rotating glass serving platter filled with assorted goodies -- brownies, peanut butter bars, candied fruits, various pieces of chocolates, and, the piece de resistance, a mound of freshly whipped cream; and 3) homemade fudge and butterscotch sauce. Yes, these items are brought before you, and you are amazed by sheer, creamy spectacle of it all.
I instantly got to work filling my ice cream dish with all manner of treats, sweets, and creams. I took nearly the whole mound of fresh whipped cream and plopped it onto my sundae, the fluffy yet firm cream mixing with the cold, hard ice cream. "Oh my god this cream is amazing!" I shout in sheer joy. Braggadocios urges me to contain myself, but I am in cream heaven and cannot hold in my screams of creams.
The maître d' approaches. "Sir, we understand our creams are exhilarating, but you are frightening the guests. Please, let me escort you to our soundproof chamber that we have for just such occasions." The maître d' is a skilled cream technician and leads me to the chamber, expertly orchestrating his staff so as to transport my sundae along with me. We arrive. The maître d' presses his hand to a fingerprint scanner, which then opens up a retina scanner, which confirms the identity of the maître d'. "Chamber ready" a computerized voice says. "Sir, I cannot follow you beyond this point, but the pod is controlled to keep your sundae at the perfect temperature and you will be able to fully express your cream emotions." We shake hands. "It's been an honor," says the maître d'. I take my sundae inside the chamber and I hear a loud suction noise as the door is closed. Now, it is just me and my creams and my screams.