Thursday, September 16, 2010
This dude Brian who wrote to the NYT is my new homie. He writes gramatically so we probably can't be friends, but respect! Cliffnotes: Brian thinks foodies/food nerds and the restaurants that cater to them are making food boring. Then Sifton asked the question:
Do you in fact notice an anecdotal trend toward restaurants that are intellectually stimulating while being emotionally distant? As important, do you think it is correct to think of a restaurant’s food as art and of its dining room as the gallery showing that work, as Brian suggests? Or is the culture of restaurants really one in which the diner’s whole experience is the art?
I always felt serving food is like theatre. We get in at 1, put on funny uniforms, get our stations ready, ipod goes on, showtime at 6pm. If you get lucky, you find a way to pick up a girl at the bar with your crocs on still. "Wuts good baby girl? I may have crocs on but at least its not herpes." I wouldn't say food has gotten boring. I just think that like the NFL, NY restauranteurs are quick to jump trends. Oh you got running backs throwin touchdowns (wildcat)? Well, Chang got chefs serving food and I got dishwashers rolling blunts. How u luv dat? I went to Ko once. I wouldn't say Ko is boring, it's just not for every one. If you want to go experience food at a really high level in an almost museum setting, you gotta go to Ko. It's a "style" that definitely has a place and role in the food scene. You can't have all LES galleries with 80s arcade games displaying digital art. You need the Met.
But conversely, you don't need foie gras or uni to be a dope restaurant. Whatever culture you're examining, there's a push/pull between ivory tower and the common man/whoa-man. Obviously, if you look at my restaurants, I believe the diner's "experience" is the art. It's interactive. The customer has a role and as much as I love my food, I spend just as much time on the interior, the staff, the drinks, and the playlist. Music is a huge part of the dining experience for me. I'll go to the Spotted Pig because they play hova in the dining room. I fux with Sammy's Romanian for Passover because there's line dancing, cougars and vodka in ice blocks. Kenka on St. Mark's is one of the most unique NY dining experiences, ditto for a night out at B.O.B. (no food, just drinks and big girls) Legs and Eggs at Perfections... definitely an event not to be missed. 90% of the time, unless someone is posturing, you ask them what their favorite meal was and they are going to say: dinner at grandma's, steak and bacon with friends at luger's after being laid off, that italian joint in South Beach where u had carbonara and xanex then proceeded to pass out, or that soup dumpling spot in Northern Virginia I first had xiao long bao.
The customer is half the show. You bring yourself, your xanex, your agenda to the restaurant and we do our best to drop a mother fuckin heat rock. Last week, we had a dope party of 14 come in, everyone had a great time, I came out of the kitchen with a tray of ginger infused tequilla shots thinkin i was gonna set it off. Not tonight... BOOM, i drop a tray of shots on this girl and now she smells like Machete. Sometimes you'd rather eat at a museum, but other times, its worth the price of admission to watch the Lord of the Delivery Boys make em say ahhhh