Because my sister is marrying 'down' [my parents do not approve], I'd expected/hoped her wedding would be at the city clerk's office, followed by dinner with some friends. And that was the original plan, until an investment banker friend offered his beach house in Sag Harbor. It's still going to be a relatively humble affair [especially for the location], but there'll be a proper wedding and reception now.
Anyhow, we'll be staying in Southampton [the Peconic Bay side] the weekend after Labor Day, and I wondered if there was anything in particular I ought to see, or eat. Where should I look out across the ocean? Montauk?
I was obsessed with Pizza Hut as a child. For lack of a babysitter, my parents once brought me to what I in adult life recognise was probably a relatively hip deep-dish pizza joint in Chicago, and I threw a tantrium because it wasn't Pizza Hut. Though in truth, it may have been the arcade games in the reception/waiting area that won Pizza Hut my affection. I'm fairly confident Pizza Hut, like KFC, was markedly better in my youth.
Ate Papa John's almost every night when I was at Camp Geiger. A Marine sergeant would go buy a carful of pizzas from Papa John's and then sell them at marked up prices to those of us trapped on base. I didn't pay for any of the pizzas myself, but there were always so many leftover slices, there was plenty to go around.
I'm not sure I'm capable of comparing Domino's before and after they came to Jesus: I don't remember what it tasted like before, and I've had it only three times since. At Gen Con this summer, the children of a 1 per cent friend, who regularly eat much more sophisticated food than I do, decided they must have Domino's [I don't think they'd ever had it before, but they'd watched the commercials?]. So we had some delivered to our hotel. The sauce was very sweet. That was a low moment.
I honestly don't know which of these pizzas is least worst [though I think Sbarro's crust is inedible and weirdly cakelike and puffy]. It does seem to me that mass-chain pizzas [which often seem to hail from the Midwest?] generally aren't great as pizza, but serve really as platforms for toppings. I seem to be able to stomach the pizzas with more toppings, regardless of the particular brand.
Very much enjoyed Pizzeria Uno as a teenager, generally the Numero Uno® [see my comment about more toppings above]. During high school my friends and I once drove east->west across the waist of New Jersey to dine at the nearest Uno. That was a pretty wild and crazy thing for some future meritocrats to do on a school night. Later I ate at least twice a month at the H Square Uno owing to their supercheap lunch special.
Oh that reminds me, Bertucci's wasn't half bad. We used to go to the H Square location when we had large parties.
When it first opened in Brick City, I ate Blaze Pizza nearly every week. I'm not sure what they serve is actually pizza, but it was nice to get sort of fresh ingredients in Newark. I liked their goat cheese and beetroot salad.
I guess Bertucci's probably had the most edible chain pizza, then Blaze, then everyone else sort of clustered round the bottom. Make sure to order lots of toppings.
At dinner in Le Coucou last week it struck me this is what formal dining has become for moneyed Millennials. We were surrounded by young women from the Instagram set, dressed to the nines, taking selfies [some of our neighbours showed up geotagged the next day, LOL]. They would order the entire dessert menu so they could photograph the spread for their social media.
The men were from an, erm, wider range of ages. The young men were mostly dressed much more casually than the women [I do wonder how many 'formal' occasions Millennial men will yet admit: weddings and funerals?]. The older men dressed better, but there were still glaring discrepancies of style and manner which led my dinner companion to speculate about escorts and 'sugar daddy' arrangements.
Edited: of course, the funny thing is that Le Coucou's food is mostly not terribly photogenic. But this is the hegemonic mode of posh Millennial dining. It might make more sense at, say, Eleven Madison Park, but I suppose my point is that Le Coucou and EMP feel like sort of the same category for many young people, whereas I'd say one is [rich, smart] casual and the other [relaxed, less 'rigorous'] formal.
We walked in around 3 pm on a Saturday.. It was the three of us, 3 year old and two able willing adults.. We ordered a jumbo shrimp cocktail (6pcs) a wedge salad and the bacon cheeseburger.. Our waiter, sniffed at us, "the three of you are only going to get a burger". So ashamed, I almost added on a steak.. But, fortunately i stuck to my guns and we only had some salad, some bacon and a shrimp leftover.
Luger is still a tipping establishment, right? You probably put a significant ding in his income that hour.
Shrimp cocktail is supposed to be hard and crunchy? [I rarely eat anything with more than four limbs other than lobster, langoustine, etc. Not that I eat those often...]
I never understood how some restaurants manage to keep serving inappropriate buns for their burgers. It should be empirically obvious when a bun cannot stand up to the juicyness of its patty.
I've watched both episodes so far and will watch the rest [I'll watch anything semi-plausible about New York restaurants, Downtown New York, ingénues in New York, etc], but I suspect not many others are watching. To some extent Sweetbitter has the misfortune of being paired with Vida, which is much more dramatic and 'timely', and attracting most of the critical attention. [Though it's Starz, so still not a great deal of attention.] Interestingly, Starz decided to upload the premiere of Vida to YouTube for free viewing, but they seem not to have done for Sweetbitter.
The folks at Eater, however, are watching. One of the reviewers has read the novel [I still haven't done], and the other [Greg Morabito] has actually worked in New York restaurants. Morabito observed that the layout of the show's '22W' does in fact match Union Square Cafe, where Danler worked during this period. The show's FoH adviser worked at Union Square Cafe for eight years.
The second episode was set after hours, mostly at 'Home Bar', which apparently was Park Bar in the novel, very convenient to USQ. The episode was filmed at M1-5.
Some fuss was made over Danler's looks when she got her fairy-tale publishing offer, but I have to admit, watching some publicity for this TV adaption, she can as readily withstand the male gaze as the show's actresses.
It's AD 2018, and Resy displays almost no reservations available for parties of two in March, and a handful of tables for four, all after 10 pm. Does Lilia not release primetime tables online, and in any case why are they so bloody popular?