The doctor did order smaller portions of meals, suggesting that I take a few bites of a dish and then push the plate away. I suppose I could follow the example of the New York City restaurant critic who allegedly kept her girlish figure by taking a couple of bites, then sprinkling pepper on the rest of the food even desserts so she wouldn't be tempted to eat the rest. It's an interesting concept, but it seems like such a waste of pepper.
I prefer sharing food with friends rather than peppering it to death. One of my New Year's resolutions is to dine out with people who have heartier appetites than I do. They will also have instructions to slap my hands if I reach for the bread basket more than once.
Another New Year's resolution was added to my list after my managing editor suggested that I stop ordering calamari as an appetizer. Not because it's fattening (though it is) but because there's really nothing to say about fried squid that hasn't already been said, ad nauseam, in these pages. Calamari has become one of those ubiquitous appetizers that you now find on almost every restaurant menu. I keep waiting for the day when McDonald's starts offering McCalamari. It's coming, I tell you.
Calamari has become a bore, like that gloppy spinach-artichoke dip, which is also on my "Don't Order Again" list, joining toasted ravioli, onion rings and any kind of fried cheese.
Another food item that I'm crossing off my list is tiramisu. I used to love this elegant Venetian dessert, artfully assembled with ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, espresso (which explains the dessert's name, which translates as pick me up), raw eggs, chocolate and liqueur. But now almost every restaurant in town, including the Arun Thai Place Grill, serves it. I half-expect to see it pop up on the hand-written dessert lists at the downtown Town Topic diners any day now, posted between the apple and coconut-cream pies.
But I'll never give up coconut-cream pie. Unless I have to exercise for it.