Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The way I see it, once you say that NO food in New York is as good as French food in Paris, the problem then isn't that French food in New York isn't as good as French food in Paris (that's only to be expected) -- it's that NOTHING is.  So I don't see how it saves things that Italian in New York is better than Italian in Paris, when neither is as good as in Italy, and NOTHING in New York is as good as French in Paris.  How can New York be one of the great food cities in the world then?

 

You know that logic doesn't work under any reasonable definition of great food city. 

 

New York is obviously one of the world's great food cities - it has a great breadth of cuisines at various levels of formality at a very high level, it does have some top rate high end restaurants, it has perhaps the best Italian food outside of Italy, some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan, and better French food than all but a few non-French cities. It is probably not the world's greatest food city for any one kind of food, it is also a city where the economics of operating a restaurant in New York make it very hard for certain types of restaurants to succeed, etc. But it's obviously a world class food city. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll add one more thing (yeah, right).

 

In those 6 or 7 restaurants we dined at in Paris recently, and to which I staked my most recent obnoxious claims...we sat at tables in every place, with chairs that actually were meant for human beings, and we could hold conversations with each other. That ain't no small task.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Steve's point, which I think I understand. Maybe you actually have more exploring to do in Paris to find the places which would make you miss NYC places a little less?

 

And I don't know if I really understand the "French food" argument you make; once again, most of what we ate I wouldn't necessarily consider "French" food, other than the ingredients and the handling thereof. One chef is Japanese, one chef is British, one chef is Argentinian and I consider it good to great restaurant food, served by servers who, for the most part, act like they know what they're doing.

 

1- Yes, but I did quite a bit.  I wouldn't have to search so hard here.  But your point is well taken that it would be even easier to live there once I found the needles in the haystack.

2- You're stretching it.  We both know that there are many excellent chefs in both cities cooking foods from countries that they, or their nonas, didn't hail from.  You make a dish that's served as standard in France, I'm entitled to think of it as French.  You riff on it and put some of you own sensibilities to it (based on your ethnic background or not), I still think of it, broadly, as that type of food as well.  If an American chef puts a hot dog in a sushi roll, its a riff on Japanese food.  Your dinner at Maison Sota wasn't traditional French & was cheffed by Sota but I'd still call it French food (broadly speaking).

 

 

The way I see it, once you say that NO food in New York is as good as French food in Paris, the problem then isn't that French food in New York isn't as good as French food in Paris (that's only to be expected) -- it's that NOTHING is.  So I don't see how it saves things that Italian in New York is better than Italian in Paris, when neither is as good as in Italy, and NOTHING in New York is as good as French in Paris.  How can New York be one of the great food cities in the world then?

 

You know that logic doesn't work under any reasonable definition of great food city. 

 

New York is obviously one of the world's great food cities - it has a great breadth of cuisines at various levels of formality at a very high level, it does have some top rate high end restaurants, it has perhaps the best Italian food outside of Italy, some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan, and better French food than all but a few non-French cities. It is probably not the world's greatest food city for any one kind of food, it is also a city where the economics of operating a restaurant in New York make it very hard for certain types of restaurants to succeed, etc. But it's obviously a world class food city. 

 

 

I agree with Adrian.  If France gets the gold medal "running" in the French food category, winning by many lengths over the silver medalist, but is hardly even in the other race categories (& not even medaling) while the silver medalist that finished a far back second gets quite a lot of silver medals in many other race categories, I'd probably think the multiple silver medalist is a better "runner" overall and not claim the French runner to be "magnitudes better" in overall running.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've grown weary of NYC restaurants and I'm not sure you can eat well in NYC anymore (with rare exception). The price points are ridiculous. And yes, I know it's the rents but that have caused many great spots to close - think Annisa, think Devi. 

 

Where most people disagree with me is ingredients. I am still a firm believer that great ingredients are available here if one takes the time to search them out.

 

The problem is most restaurants don't want to buy them and if they do, most chefs want to do too much with them.

 

But the real issue is the vast majority of restaurants don't like customers. It seems they do everything in their power to alienate diners. They purposely make them physically uncomfortable in order to get people in and out quickly. They do their damndest to make reservations difficult. They mark up inexpensive wines five and six times retail because those are the wines most diners know and will order They have incorrect information on their website and they constantly attempt to upsell.

 

At the end of the day most NYC restaurants don't want to be user friendly and don't want people to feel relaxed or wanted. They have succeeded - at least with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that's kind of the point of what's wrong with our food culture here.  We can argue about whether the ingredients you can get here if you search for them are "great" or merely "very good."  But either way, you have to search for them.  You can't take them for granted, as you can is (say) Paris.  Because, we have an unhealthy food culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the real issue is the vast majority of restaurants don't like customers. It seems they do everything in their power to alienate diners. They purposely make them physically uncomfortable in order to get people in and out quickly. They do their damndest to make reservations difficult. They mark up inexpensive wines five and six times retail because those are the wines most diners know and will order They have incorrect information on their website and they constantly attempt to upsell.

 

At the end of the day most NYC restaurants don't want to be user friendly and don't want people to feel relaxed or wanted. They have succeeded - at least with me.

 

Well the NJ restaurants will welcome you :) And most of them are BYO ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that's kind of the point of what's wrong with our food culture here.  We can argue about whether the ingredients you can get here if you search for them are "great" or merely "very good."  But either way, you have to search for them.  You can't take them for granted, as you can is (say) Paris.  Because, we have an unhealthy food culture.

 

I can accept that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that's kind of the point of what's wrong with our food culture here.  We can argue about whether the ingredients you can get here if you search for them are "great" or merely "very good."  But either way, you have to search for them.  You can't take them for granted, as you can is (say) Paris.  Because, we have an unhealthy food culture.

 

WHOA!  I thought I'd said my last on this but you just confused me.  The ingredients can be taken for granted in Paris, but not so much here (although they can be searched out), and that's part of our "unhealthy food culture"?  However, really good Italian, Chinese, etc food can be pretty much taken for granted here but not in Paris and that isn't a variable in a better overall (not just French) restaurant culture?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

But the real issue is the vast majority of restaurants don't like customers. It seems they do everything in their power to alienate diners. They purposely make them physically uncomfortable in order to get people in and out quickly. They do their damndest to make reservations difficult. They mark up inexpensive wines five and six times retail because those are the wines most diners know and will order They have incorrect information on their website and they constantly attempt to upsell.

 

At the end of the day most NYC restaurants don't want to be user friendly and don't want people to feel relaxed or wanted. They have succeeded - at least with me.

 

Well the NJ restaurants will welcome you :) And most of them are BYO ;)

 

What's the plane fare?  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I place more importance than Steve does on having an indigenous rooted cuisine.

 

I think that it's because we don't -- and because, perhaps owing to our country's Puritan origins, people here just don't care that much about how good what they eat is -- that we led the world in developing Big Agri, supermarkets rather than markets, etc.  And why we now lead the world in Decent Food As Upper-Middle-Class Aspirational Signifier.  It's all part and parcel of the same thing:  a sick food culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

But the real issue is the vast majority of restaurants don't like customers. It seems they do everything in their power to alienate diners. They purposely make them physically uncomfortable in order to get people in and out quickly. They do their damndest to make reservations difficult. They mark up inexpensive wines five and six times retail because those are the wines most diners know and will order They have incorrect information on their website and they constantly attempt to upsell.

 

At the end of the day most NYC restaurants don't want to be user friendly and don't want people to feel relaxed or wanted. They have succeeded - at least with me.

 

Well the NJ restaurants will welcome you :) And most of them are BYO ;)

 

What's the plane fare?  :D

 

Under $20 in tolls over the bridge :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've grown weary of NYC restaurants and I'm not sure you can eat well in NYC anymore (with rare exception). The price points are ridiculous. And yes, I know it's the rents but that have caused many great spots to close - think Annisa, think Devi. 

 

At the end of the day most NYC restaurants don't want to be user friendly and don't want people to feel relaxed or wanted. They have succeeded - at least with me.

 

Yes - and this is quite different than what we found to be going on in Paris. 

 

 

But that's kind of the point of what's wrong with our food culture here.  We can argue about whether the ingredients you can get here if you search for them are "great" or merely "very good."  But either way, you have to search for them.  You can't take them for granted, as you can is (say) Paris.  Because, we have an unhealthy food culture.

 

I can accept that.

 

 

I've often argued that we can get pretty great ingredients here, during the proper season, if one shops well, etc. etc.  I've had excellent seafood here, a great tomato, there's good cheese, etc. But you definitely can't take them for granted.

 

I think I place more importance than Steve does on having an indigenous rooted cuisine.

 

I think that it's because we don't -- and because, perhaps owing to our country's Puritan origins, people just don't care that much about how good what they eat is -- that we led the world in developing Big Agri, supermarkets rather than markets, etc.  And why we now lead the world in Decent Food As Upper-Middle-Class Aspirational Signifier.  It's all part and parcel of the same thing:  a sick food culture.

 

Yes indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that's kind of the point of what's wrong with our food culture here.  We can argue about whether the ingredients you can get here if you search for them are "great" or merely "very good."  But either way, you have to search for them.  You can't take them for granted, as you can is (say) Paris.  Because, we have an unhealthy food culture.

 

Your heavily researched trip to Paris will yield better results than your day-to-day experience in New York, but you can't take food for granted in Paris either. There is a whole genre of writing based around "I tried random places in Paris and they all sucked" and another around "all fruit is from Morocco now".  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...