The Pros And Cons Of Midnight Dinners

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They are selective, these dinners. Though occasionally there may be as many as thirty people, there are often as few as five. Twelve to fifteen guests is somewhat standard. The cuisine is exquisite regardless of the number of guests. Chandresh never provides menus for these events. Some similar dinners, if there were dinners that could be considered similar, might have calligraphed menus on sturdy paper describing each course in great detail, or perhaps just listing an intriguing title or name. But the Midnight Dinners have an air of nocturnal mystery already, and Chandresh finds that providing no menu, no map of the culinary route, adds to the experience. Dish after dish is brought to the table, some easily identifiable as quail or rabbit…show more content…
Chandresh never reveals the identity of his chefs. One rumor supposes that he has culinary geniuses from around the world kidnapped and imprisoned in his kitchens, where they are forced by questionable means to cater to his every whim. Another implies that the food is not cooked on the premises and instead is imported from the best restaurants in London, paid extra to stay open for the late hour. This rumor often results in debates on methods of keeping hot food hot and cold food cold, which never come to any satisfying conclusions and tend to make the debaters rather hungry. Regardless of its origin, the food is always delectable. The decor in the dining room (or rooms, depending on the size of the event) is as extraordinary as it is in the rest of the house, in sumptuous reds and golds with art and artifacts from across the globe displayed on every available surface. Everything is lit with glowing chandeliers and copious candles, so that the light is not bright but deep and warm and bubbling. There is often entertainment of some sort or another: dancers, conjurers, exotic musicians. The more intimate gatherings are typically accompanied by Chandresh’s personal pianist, a beautiful young woman who plays continuously throughout the entire evening and never speaks a word to anyone. They are dinner parties like any other, though the ambiance and the late hour makes them something else, something unusual and curious. Chandresh has an inherent flair for the unusual and curious; he understands the power of atmosphere. On this particular night, the Midnight Dinner is a comparatively intimate one, with only five invited guests. And tonight’s dinner is not merely a social gathering. The first to arrive (after the pianist, already playing) is Mme. Ana Padva, a retired Romanian prima ballerina who had been dear friends with Chandresh’s mother. He called her Tante Padva

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