"But if I was just really feeling good and enjoying myself for this one night, maybe they weren't empty calories."
On Wednesday night the Serious Eats staffers and columnists gathered at the seriously delicious Motorino pizzeria in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to celebrate our two James Beard Awards. The pizzas were coming out of pizzaiolo-owner Mathieu Palombino's gorgeous wood-burning oven fast and furious, and the bellinis were flowing like, well, bellinis at a party where everyone's feeling pretty good.
A party where everyone's feeling pretty good and where great pizza and bellinis are being served in copious quantities. Oh yeah, Serious Eaters, we have a problem. Why?
Because at parties where seriously delicious things are being served I have a tendency to let my guard down. When my guard is down my self control mechanism can be temporarily disabled without me even realizing it. When that mechanism is temporarily disabled all my strategies and tactics I usually employ at parties to limit my caloric intake can be compromised.
Usually my party preparation is as follows:
Eat an apple and/or a banana right before leaving the house or the office so that I am not ravenously hungry when I get to the party.
Drink a 20 ounce bottle of sparkling water before leaving the house or even on the way to the party for the same reason stated above.
Once I am at the party continue on the sparkling water path.
If there are pass-arounds, avoid the fried stuff, the cheese, and the charcuterie or salumi.
Avoid calorically calamitous wussy drinks with or without umbrellas.
Eat half of what any server puts down before me.
Here's where I went wrong at the party at Motorino:
A gracious server greeted me at the door to the pizzeria with a bellini. I was feeling a little nervous because I had to give a speech, so I quickly downed one bellini and then another.
Right next to the bellinis on the bar were platters of Prosciutto de Parma. After the second bellini I had one slice of prosciutto, then another.
I did succeed in eating only half of the brussels sprout and pancetta pizza I ordered (so insanely delicious), as well as half a fire-roasted chicken wing, but then my son Will asked if I wanted a slice of his spicy soppressata pizza. Like a dope I said yes.
After the party was over I had half a wussy drink at a neighborhood bar where we continued our celebration.
In retrospect I think my problem was that for this party I didn't employ any of my calorie control tactics mentioned above. Maybe subconsciously I just wanted to go to the party and enjoy myself without thinking too much about my diet. I didn't compulsively overeat or drink there, but I clearly consumed too many empty calories.
But if I was just really feeling good and enjoying myself for this one night, maybe they weren't empty calories. Isn't that the conundrum serious eaters sometimes find themselves confronting at meaningful celebrations?
The party was on a Wednesday, and here it is Friday morning, so though I biked everywhere yesterday and tried to eat really carefully, I don't how Thinner is going to treat me this morning. Here goes: 224. Up a pound. In for a party, in for a pound, I guess.