How many stories are there about Riddle's? One Sunday night in late November of 1994, I had my wedding supper (the wonderful shiitake mushrooms) there. Alone. Joe was in the hospital recovering from emergency life-saving surgery and we moved the date of our planned nuptials up so I could take advantage of the then-new Family Medical Leave Act. "What's new?" asked chef-proprietor Andy Ayres when he left the kitchen to patrol the bar. "I got married today," I said, still a little surprised at my daring act. "Well...," he said and paused, "I guess that's good."
For a long time, Andy was the only restaurant person who knew that I, the food writer, had a day job as a chemotherapy nurse. The two occupations do seem at odds with each other until one realizes that hospital food is enough, most of the time (and all of the time back then), to drive one to maniacal searching for the good stuff. I wasn't eager to have the word out on the street. As far as I know, Andy was completely discreet.