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Just a short comment: I don't think people really dispute that it can be very pleasant to watch Shakespeare in the Park or a movie in Bryant Park. But to harken back to an example you gave before: Brecht in an abandoned warehouse. I think the problem comes when people orchestrating these venues try to make too much of them ("watching Brecht in the decaying surroundings of an abandoned warehouse allows to you more fully understand his dystopian vision*). Or "our organic tomatoes were grown in a blanket of toxic Brooklyn soot, but they're local and delicious." Or the quote from that Bluebottle Coffee guy: "All coffee is local."

 

*Apologies to Brecht.

 

Edit: You obviously haven't met Wilfrid.

What did the Blue Bottle guy say?

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the other day we found ourselves with a car and time on our hands while returning from a trip with friends. i remembered that a newish pizza place in Bushwick, which had an impressive xmas menu. unass

Not just the beer - everything down to dessert wines.

Very recently someone who's taste I trust told me there is some serious cooking coming out of this kitchen. Initially I thought it was a joke but apparently not.

“It’s different here,” he said. “Different water, different air, a different neighborhood.”

 

He added: “I might let it evolve. The thing about coffee is that coffee is local. I’m not just showing up in New York, I’m showing up on Berry Street.”

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“It’s different here,” he said. “Different water, different air, a different neighborhood.”

 

He added: “I might let it evolve. The thing about coffee is that coffee is local. I’m not just showing up in New York, I’m showing up on Berry Street.”

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Ah. It's the wild yeasts in the air.

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Fret not - I don't see you as a homogenous grey mass. My point is that these kids can be (expletive of choice) annoying, the marketing can be obscene, and the product can often be BS. The restaurants are often run in an amateur fashion. We can recognize and criticize that. We also have to be willing to give credit to legitimate aesthetic choices.

I think you are applying the phrase "legitimate aesthetic choice" to things that are actually constraints. It is one thing to perform Shakespeare in a barn because you believe (rightly or wrongly) that it enhances the experience. It is quite another to choose a barn because you couldn't afford what you really wanted.

 

It is pretty clear, when you read the history of this place, that what they have now is a mixture of what they want and what they're stuck with. They have steadily upgraded it, as and when they could. I gave the example of the jam jars. They must not have been part of the aesthetic concept if they were jettisoned so readily.

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Are two stars enough to put up for the trouble of getting to eat the tasting menu?

 

Not to me, they're not. Just another case of "Why review something that is so little available?" Why? for the chic exclusivity of it. Not for any useful purpose.

 

I think you might be parsing that incorrectly

 

For eight people a week, Roberta’s is a three-star restaurant, no matter the paper napkins or hard wooden seats. For many more in the neighborhood, collapsing into the room after a long afternoon or evening of dancing or making art, it is an amazing one-star one: a place for pizza and a beer. And for the rest of us, staring at the subway map, tracing our fingers east along the L line? Roberta’s and Mr. Mirarchi: two stars.

 

again, if you can use email its really not a hassle. Not open table level, but easier than doing ye old "call at 10 AM two months out" routine.

 

(BTW the 8 people this week are MF'ers or FoMF'ers). My ressy is tomorrow.

Really looking forward to hearing how this meal was. And I'll even be fine if the uncomfortable seats are omitted from the post this once. :lol:

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3. Is sitting on a bench for a meal really that much less comfortable than sitting on the grass watching a play? Do people like Shakespeare in the park because they like to shift around for two hours on a picnic blanket?

 

Just as a data point, I go to A LOT of theater. But I NEVER go to Shakespeare In The Park. For the same reason I've never been to Brooklyn Fare. The potential experience just isn't worth the hassle by my calculus -- especially since I go to A LOT of theater (and eat in A LOT of fine restaurants) otherwise.

 

I don't think I'm too good to go to Shakespeare In The Park, or argue that it isn't a worthy enterprise. I just don't think it's worth it, for me.

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(Although it isn't particularly important, it occurs to me that Adrian seems to misunderstand what Shakespeare In The Park is. You don't watch the plays from the grass. You can't: they're given in a theater, and you only can see them from inside the theater [or from one of the rocks behind it -- which don't count as "the grass"]. People sit on the grass, not to watch the plays, but to wait all day to snag one of the limited number of free tickets that get you into the theater that night.

 

(So it really IS like Brooklyn Fare: if you have the inclination and ability to blow off work to gain entry, you can.)

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(Although it isn't particularly important, it occurs to me that Adrian seems to misunderstand what Shakespeare In The Park is. You don't watch the plays from the grass. You can't: they're given in a theater, and you only can see them from inside the theater [or from one of the rocks behind it -- which don't count as "the grass"]. People sit on the grass, not to watch the plays, but to wait all day to snag one of the limited number of free tickets that get you into the theater that night.

 

(So it really IS like Brooklyn Fare: if you have the inclination and ability to blow off work to gain entry, you can.)

 

 

Or just go on the weekends, preferably before opening week.

 

This is the first year I've missed Shakespeare in the Park ... in the last 25 years I've been attending.

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(Although it isn't particularly important, it occurs to me that Adrian seems to misunderstand what Shakespeare In The Park is. You don't watch the plays from the grass. You can't: they're given in a theater, and you only can see them from inside the theater [or from one of the rocks behind it -- which don't count as "the grass"]. People sit on the grass, not to watch the plays, but to wait all day to snag one of the limited number of free tickets that get you into the theater that night.

 

(So it really IS like Brooklyn Fare: if you have the inclination and ability to blow off work to gain entry, you can.)

 

(Yes, never been to Shakespeare in the park in NYC. Only in Toronto. Where you actually sit on the grass [and some rocks])

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Fret not - I don't see you as a homogenous grey mass. My point is that these kids can be (expletive of choice) annoying, the marketing can be obscene, and the product can often be BS. The restaurants are often run in an amateur fashion. We can recognize and criticize that. We also have to be willing to give credit to legitimate aesthetic choices.

I think you are applying the phrase "legitimate aesthetic choice" to things that are actually constraints. It is one thing to perform Shakespeare in a barn because you believe (rightly or wrongly) that it enhances the experience. It is quite another to choose a barn because you couldn't afford what you really wanted.

 

It is pretty clear, when you read the history of this place, that what they have now is a mixture of what they want and what they're stuck with. They have steadily upgraded it, as and when they could. I gave the example of the jam jars. They must not have been part of the aesthetic concept if they were jettisoned so readily.

 

Sure. But they decided to be the type of place that aspires to do all this kind of stuff. They could have just been a pizza place. Like (the albeit imperfect example of) ABC No Rio could have remained a gallery-thingy. The aesthetic choice was to become the kind of collective Roberta's is (farm, and pizza joint, with interesting on menu stuff, and a radio station, and a fine dining restaurant, all in a shanty). Yes, of course practical concerns matter. But there are lots of pizza joints without tasting menus, or radio stations, or farms. It's not like they want to install table clothes or finely upholstered chairs. I don't think they want a place on Central Park South. If they do, I'm wrong. I doubt our positions are actually that far apart.

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Yes, of course practical concerns matter. But there are lots of pizza joints without tasting menus, or radio stations, or farms. It's not like they want to install table clothes or finely upholstered chairs. I don't think they want a place on Central Park South. If they do, I'm wrong. I doubt our positions are actually that far apart.

This is the Stone fallacy -- that if you don't have backless benches, the next step up is Alain Ducasse at the Essex House. I don't see these guys in Manhattan, any more than I see Ducasse on Staten Island. But that doesn't mean that everything they do is a principled aesthetic choice.

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Yes, of course practical concerns matter. But there are lots of pizza joints without tasting menus, or radio stations, or farms. It's not like they want to install table clothes or finely upholstered chairs. I don't think they want a place on Central Park South. If they do, I'm wrong. I doubt our positions are actually that far apart.

This is the Stone fallacy -- that if you don't have backless benches, the next step up is Alain Ducasse at the Essex House. I don't see these guys in Manhattan, any more than I see Ducasse on Staten Island. But that doesn't mean that everything they do is a principled aesthetic choice.

 

Killing me won't bring back your goddamn honey.

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Or, not to be glib, we're concerned with a different set of questions. You're concerned with:

 

Why only serve eight folks a night the tasting menu? And: Would they serve more if they had more resources? (because they don't have the resources or they would rather use those resources on other projects and yes!)

 

I'm concerned with:

 

Why serve a tasting menu in that environment at all? And: If it's because of the philosophy/aesthetic of the place, why should we appreciate that food served in that environment?

 

I agree with you about mason jars and disagree with you about benches.

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