This past weekend we took my 7 year old son to a sweet and quirky Japanese restaurant that we discovered about a week or so ago. We had gone there on a date night last week and thought that our son would really like it. I would say that he remains a relatively adventurous eater as long as he is in a good mood. We took him to Town a while ago and his grumpy self took one look at the menu and decided that he would not like anything. I tried to convince him to try the gnocchi but he wasn’t having it. The waitress saved us by letting us know that there were kid friendly options available. He decided on orecchiette pasta in a red sauce. I have to say that I tried his leftovers the following day and they were pretty delicious. He thought so too and after his initial angst at what was on the menu he recovered nicely.
Saturday night he was in all his glory. He generally has a pretty sophisticated sense of humor. His teacher told us that sometimes in class he will say something that the other kids in the class don’t get but she does so she laughs. She said that all the kid look at her and ask what’s funny. I love that. We had early reservations and were basically the only ones in the place aside from a couple at the sushi bar. We checked out the menu and I, of course, had to order the lotus root pizza (a new craving of mine). We got some edamame and a roasted lotus root dish. The 7 year old decided that he would try the temari sushi. It is sushi that is shaped like small balls and is truly beautiful. So he ordered two pieces of the salmon temari sushi and a plate of tuna temari that is prepared five different ways. When we ordered the salmon for him the waiter said that it came with this, that and the other thing and was that OK. I said yes but truth be told I had no idea what he was talking about. While we waited for our food we took a picture of our son standing in front of the sign that said “warning: unattended children will be sold to the circus.”
The 7 year old loves edamame so when that came he dove right in. He also really enjoyed the lotus root pizza (who wouldn’t) and the roasted lotus root. Then his salmon came. It was lovely, round and topped with a white sauce topped with a globe of yellow roe. This was what the waiter was talking about. Some time ago, when we were at a conveyor belt sushi place, my son, who was much younger, touched a passing sushi that was filled with orange roe. I understand. It was pretty and looked irresistible. I told him that he touched it and he had to eat it. It was a pretty unpleasant experience for him but he never touched sushi he wouldn’t eat again. Now, here we were, a few years later, and he was facing roe once again. I told him that I would take it off if he wanted but that maybe he should give it a try. I told him that it would just pop in his mouth and that it didn’t have big taste. And then he ate it. He loved the salmon. He said that he wanted to order two more. I told him that if he ate all the tuna and still had room I would get him more. Then the tuna came. It was lovely and some had roe and some had wasabi and some had jalapenos. Of the five he ate four and a half.
I loved having dinner with him that night. I couldn’t imagine if he refused to eat things; refused to try new things. I know some kids who will only eat fries, chicken nuggets and the like. I would hate that. I loved that he was able to get past his first bad experience with roe and was willing to give it another chance. Maybe he is even smarter than I think and maybe I could learn a few lessons from him.