Saturday, February 21


As recommended by the NYT, we lunch at Wheelers which has been serving since 1857. The restaurant has a small fish-bar that seats six and we are lucky to arrive early and get three stools together. Before us behind the counter: jellied eels, octopus chunks, salted haddock, lobster, crab, smoked and raw salmon, cockles, lemons, sea snails, giant and miniature shrimps, crayfish and various salads,+oysters, which are divine. The only condiment vinegar, of course. We really pig out - I should say I really pig out because most of the dishes a bit too fishy for the kids. After our many multiple appetisers we have crab and salmon cakes which are simple and magical - served with a small plum sauce and lite herbs. Seated next to us first are a young couple drinking own-wine and smooching between bites (Eitan turns his head) then a grubby set who, I overhear, visiting from Harvard. Meanwhile locals pass through order Styrofoam cups of whatever and I revel in their accents: "gimme a few of them, luv" and of course our grouchie female server simply won't tolerate the kids loudness or my friendly overtures - she serves us what we want and refuses to make a recommendation: "them is all good" she assures me with a sullen look. Wheelers is similar to The Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco which I know Stan loves - unlike Swans, Wheelers is cozier nor offers a seafood salad with blue-cheese, which I think an American classic. Wheelers also does not serve fish 'n chips and an elderly couple told to pitch their tent down the block at another serving restaurant. In a word: sublime.

Eitan: "Can we go bowling until midnight?"