The second season of HBO’s satirical comedy-drama, the White Lotus, came to a thrilling close this past Sunday. Set against the backdrop of an upscale hotel along the coast of Sicily, dissecting the week-long vacation of the über rich became Twitter’s Sunday night ritual. Loyal viewers picked apart every throwaway line, mismatched outfit, and in one viral tweet, the absurdity of the one-percent-of-the-one-percenters dining at the hotel restaurant for every meal. While production reasons undoubtedly drove this choice, it’s not totally implausible that the guests just liked dining there. What’s called the White Lotus is actually the San Domenico in Sicily, which hosts three fine-dining experiences, including a Michelin-starred restaurant. As I read through the menu, I began to imagine what each character might have ordered during their deadly stay. The following are my guesses.
Di Grasso Dynasty
Bert Di Grasso – Starting with patriarch Di Grassio, oldest and arguably horniest of the clan, I can see him ask his Sicilian waitress for a recommendation – likely accompanied by some inappropriate innuendo about her being on the menu. She’ll politely suggest the “Sicilian tuna tartare with avocado and white sesame” which he spits out after the first bite
Dominic Di Grasso – This guy is not eating. He is way too busy for that bullshit! He’s got one hand on the phone (with Hollywood) and the other choking a hooker. “Just get me whatever,” he’d whisper to Bert then get pissed when the “fish of the day Aeolian Style with tomatoes, capers and olives” arrives. “I don’t eat fish,” he’d furiously tell his father, which turns into a lengthy argument about money and sex and generational trauma.
Albie Di Grasso – Our white knight in shining armor would confidently order a dish that nearby women might appreciate for its understated luxury. “Marinated anchovies with Verdello lemon,” he’d order, citing a New Yorker article about anchovy fishing he misquotes.
Cameron Sullivan – Slimy and ostentatious, the “raw and marinated fish plateau” is a perfect choice for C-dog. He’d rebuff protests from the table with a smirk, “Omega-3, guys! It’s great for stamina.” Followed by a wink.
Daphne Sullivan – This one is an absolute mystery. Because if you can achieve this amount of serenity about your husband’s serial cheating and look that sunkissed doing it, you know Goop would have already packed the lightning in an ecru bottle and peddled it to every mommy blogger within their reach. All I know is you can’t get this zen on complex carbs. Maybe she had the nicoise salad?
Ethan – Nothing says money like a “tuna tagliata with pistachios from Bronte, sautéed mixed vegetables and orange sauce” – or so Ethan thinks. The dish is a great choice but it will ultimately go cold as Ethan will spend the entire dinner sending weird looks to everyone at the table.
Harper – Wine. Lots and lots of wine.
Mia – With a permanent coquettish smile on, Mia is always either singing or getting someone off. She is an epicurean at heart and probably has dessert for every meal. A tiramisu for you, my dear.
Lucia – As a plucky and charming polyglot woman of the night, Lucia knows what she’s doing. That’s why she’s the only one smart enough to try the “artisanal spaghetti luca crimi mount etna,” the Michelin restaurant’s most famous dish.
Valentina – Unfortunately, Valentina cannot afford the food. Tupperware of leftovers in tow, back to the steps it is!
The Blonde Baddies
Portia – “The Romantic Escape” is a decadent assortment of smoked salmon, Calvisius caviar, and baked goods. Portia will spend an afternoon picking at her 68-euro meal as she whines about Tanya to her 752 followers on Instagram live. She will also definitely be wearing a confused hodgepodge of patterns and colors some might call an act of fashion terrorism.
Tanya – She will also have “The Romantic Escape’ and also from the comfort of her own room. Mouth agape, with a spoonful of rostì inching towards her tongue, she’ll probably ask Greg if she looks like Sophia Loren. He will give her a look and leave the room to take a phone call.
Hajin is a freelance translator and writer based in Seoul. She likes TV and whiskey.