Arnon Grunberg



On Friday night I had dinner at the bar at Pearl Brasserie.
After the main dish I decided to order a cocktail, also to please the bartender. He is a handsome young man from France who is proud of his cocktails. Two men were siting next to me. One of the two said to the bartender: “Put some coriander in his cocktail.” He looked at me and said: “You want some coriander in your cocktail don’t you?” “Of course,” I answered. “That’s what I want.” I laughed sheepishly but to my honor I can say that the bartender laughed sheepishly as well.
The man next to me went out and he came back with something that very much resembled coriander.
“Put some fucking coriander in his cocktail,” he said.
The bartender answered: “I’m not going to experiment at this time of the day.” I had the feeling that things were getting seriously out of hand here. The man next to me looked stronger than the bartender, so I said to the barman: “Hey dude, put some coriander in my cocktail.”
I was hoping for protection and I was willing to pay a price for it.
Then the man next to me introduced himself as the chef of this restaurant: “Even on my day off I come in here. I'm married to this place.” He got some deep-fried shrimps and he put one of them in front of me on a small plate. “Taste this,” he said.
We had a pleasant conversation about chefs and restaurants.
When I finally left there was still some coriander on the bar.

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