The trauma never truly emerges until the stage of exasperation. Making the cake (and cream) were nearly effortless, with all whisking, baking, and washing operations completed within one hour. Meticulous temperature control also enabled the chocolate decor to materialize as pictured.
For the record, the cake tasted fantastic. Fluffy cocoa sponge contrasted nicely with an airy, flavourful coffee cream filling and crisp snaps of dark-white chocolate imprints.
"There was just something on the glass." he responded exceptionally matter-of-factly, as if the action deserved no interrogation nor warning from the customers before him.
With tender tunes wallowing in the background, I opted against alcohol: the day's baking endeavour had suffused the soul with weariness, with the restaurant's ambiance only furthering my path to slumber. The decision was not regarded fondly by our new server, who grimaced at our drink requests of "warm water". He also took the opportunity to inform us that "masks (were) not required while seated, you know?". The statement had us taken aback, for our adherence to PPE was conducted out of consideration: we had not yet commenced eating, and physical distancing was not maintained with him at our table. Only a wincing nod was supplied in response, succeeded by the hushed remark of "says the guy who has his mask beneath his nose."
With the first forkful came a fit of unstoppable coughing, triggered by the acidity of the balsamic. The next slice exuded a satiating slickness, followed by more coughing and hurried gulps of water. I had forgotten utterance of my standard "dressing on the side" note and suffered tremendously as a result.
Although flawlessly delicious, the round of red meat was likely too hot for my body to handle. Heat began to build from within, even without stimulants such as steaming beverages or alcohol in the vicinity. This heat persisted late into the evening, causing headache, sleeplessness, feverish body temperature, and flaring skin. It was, regrettably, too much of a good thing, or at least too much in one sitting.
Follow-up visits from our server did not take place. He neither confirmed requests for coffee nor solicited feedback for his services and stellar attitude, but half-heartedly slid us the bill with one hand.