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Matters of taste

Prices are tumbling in Michelin-starred restaurants. Now's the time to grab a bargain lunch—even if it's just a turnip cooked in cider

By Alex Renton   March 2009

Another dirty Martini please

The film of Richard Yates’s novel of 1950s commuter-belt ennui, Revolutionary Road, got me thinking about dry Martinis. Like so many American middle-class dramas of the period, the story is powered by gin and vermouth just as Hogarth’s London ran on gin straight up. Under Sam Mendes’s direction, the Wheelers, a young couple going sour in suburbia, and their binge-drinking friends and colleagues drank dry Martinis in eye-opening quantities, before lunch, before supper and before adultery. You have to wonder if the emptiness at the heart of the American dream would have seemed quite so awful…

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