Meanwhile, in the dining room, Martha Nichols’ shimmering curtains had turned an almost scarlet color. A rotating cast of regulars went up to the podium at the top of the stairs to share remembrances. Each one was drunker than the last. “It looks like dinner made everyone very thirsty,” said Niccolini, with a grin he seemed to maintain the entire evening. The meal was coming to a close and he offered up one last speech. “I don’t know what the next people will do here, but I know that we gave it our heart,” he said. Behind him, Boulud took a swig of tequila. “Allez,” he said to Vongerichten, Cesare Casella, White, and Keller. He removed his pants, ran down the stairs, and jumped in the pool. The others had no choice but to follow. The chefs, together with Niccolini, joined arm-in-arm and splashed about the pool.