It's hard to write a delicious-sounding menu.
The other night, eating at Dan Kluger's fabulous abc kitchen in Manhattan, I noticed that Kluger (or someone in his operation) is a master of perfect-length dish descriptions: Not too long, not too short, just right.
The pretentious habit of running off at the mouth with food descriptors is well known and often ridiculed: "Pickled Bell's Farm Mangalitsa Pig Trotters with Hudson Valley Runoff-Ditch Watercress and a Mousse of Unborn Vegetables" (I made that up, but we've all seen it).
Then there's the rare, but not unknown, practice of writing super-short, opaque descriptions, like the menu at the also fabulous Eleven Madison Park: Each dish is just one word, "hamachi," "veal" or "coconut." This is interesting, but essentially punts to the chef: surprise me. Which 11MP does, so it works.
But Kluger over at abc kitchen: Reading about the dishes immediately makes you want to order them, and when the food arrives the best of it has a simplicity very well matched to the language: "crab toast with lemon aioli;" "roasted cauliflower, onion and walnut crumbs, fried egg; or "potato gnocchi, ruby red shrimp, fennel and chilies." This is writing I eat up.