The most wonderful thing you can offer someone, or be offered, in a foreign place

An excerpt from Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

“In the evening, we were joined by a friend of his, and we walked to a restaurant near the Acropolis…Iannis, without wasting a moment on that awkward and tedious conversation that will unhappily precede so many hundreds and hundreds of future restaurant meals in all of our lives – whether to share or not to share and whether or not there are food phobias and dietary restrictions among us – simply ordered food for the whole table without even consulting a menu, and so set the standard for me for all time of excellent hospitality: Just take care of everything. Is it considered more hospitable to discover your guests’ preferences, their likes and dislikes? Is it rude to deny your guests choice and control over their experience? I don’t know, but I forever want to arrive somewhere hungry and thirsty and tired and be taken are of as Iannis took care of us. I want to be relieved of making possibly poor decisions, to be spared the embarrassing moment when I – the guest – am asked to state my preference…Delicious food and drink arrived at our table, and it was immediately clear how Iannis hadn’t needed a menu or a survey of our preferences to order because he simply presented a classic, traditional Greek meal.”

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