Ode: The Grilled Artichokes at Cherry Creek Grill
They’re way overpriced.
Depending on the day, they may not even be available.
Hell, you could probably make six full orders at home for less than what you’ll pay — before tip — and if you get all of the variables right they could be just as good.
Seriously, $20 for a single artichoke, cut down the middle and served with a dish of glorified mayo is obscene. Depending on the season, it could be a full-on bloom or an anemic approximation of a flower.
But, fuck, when you peel that first leaf off the stalk, dip it gingerly in the herbed aioli, and use your teeth to scrape the meat into your mouth (are you a top or bottom?), the price will barely matter. That smoky grilled olfactory tease, the deep green earthy leafy richness, the savory spices, and the smooth tang of the sauce — it’s all in balance.
It’s good. It’s really good.
You’ll do everything you can to attenuate the experience, to make that double sawbuck stretch, to make it more than just about the consumption of a common vegetable in a swank Cherry Creek restaurant. You’ll make the most of that legendary Hillstone customer service, the servers going out of their way to help you forget about the money you’re spending to sit there. You’ll have a glass of wine, eavesdrop on the conversation in the booth behind you, smile and shake your head at your companion, leave the outside world for a bit.
And you know what? Sometimes a splurge is good for the soul. Sometimes the rational isn’t reasonable. Sometimes you can’t justify the outlay but you do it anyway.
Indulgence is its own reward. Let everything else go.
Pluck, dip, scrape.