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Restaurants in a post-coronavirus world


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I am really nervous about what I am seeing out on the streets lately.. What I can only describe as absolutely piggish and gross behavior by certain restaurant owners..  Every neighborhoods has these r

Normalcy is measured by the reaction to seeing a wolf but also in the reaction to not seeing it.

Rich - The above is what you wrote and I highlighted the term "post-Corona" in both your posts.  That is all that was being responded to, in context, by Orik, me and then others.  No attempt was made

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2 hours ago, mitchells said:

I cooked a ton and enjoyed it over the last 14 months. I was out for just a handful of outdoor dinners during that time. Once we were fully vaxed we went out 3 nights in a row and loved every minute of our experience. Not once did I ever entertain the thought that I could have made any of what we ate or drank at home. 

I am envious.   You are making good choices.

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Over the Quarantine, I've come to enjoy eating at home.  Not because I think I'm such a good cook (God knows).  But because I've enjoyed being able to buy lots of different ingredients and use them in the short term, and to plan for their use, because I had almost every dinner at home (and, on the fairly rare occasions I ate out, I knew I was going to do so several weeks in advance, and so could plan accordingly).

Now, I find myself often going out for dinner unexpectedly to socialize (often with people I haven't seen for months).  Or -- a BIG lifestyle reversion -- find myself going to shows in venues near restaurants I want to try.  I'm eating out two nights this week for the first reason, and another two for the second.  But there are SO MANY new vegetables coming into the Greenmarket that I'd want to cook and eat at home.

It's a little frustrating.

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probably the only thing beer has over wine is that most of the time beer on tap is better than the packaged version, and drinking out gives you something for your money.

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And cocktails? After fourteen months of daily practice, I can make the classics blindfolded, so if I am going out and paying $14 or $16 plus tip I guess it has to be for ambience and human contact (not to be disdained), but certainly not for what's in the glass.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's something interesting:  I've been a big outdoor-dining skeptic.  The worse service.  The diminished comfort.  The RATS.

But on two nights of solo dining this week, at two very different neighborhood spots in two very different neighborhoods -- one a Red Sauce place in an unfashionable neighborhood in Brooklyn, one a European cafe on the LES -- I initially asked to be seated inside (now that I'm feeling invulnerable).  But in both cases, it immediately became apparent that indoors was MUCH less appealing than outdoors -- indeed, was actively UNappealing -- and I asked to move outside.   In one case, the indoor dining room was full of raucous neighborhood people, loudly shouting at each other and singing along with the playlist.  In the other case, the indoor dining room was simply empty.  In both cases, the music in the indoor dining room was WAY too loud -- probably so it would be hearable at the outdoor tables as well.*

So I guess I'm becoming an outdoor-dining convert.  At least while the weather is nice.  When it gets oppressively hot, I'ma want to move back inside.

_______________________________________________________________________

* Interestingly, despite their wildly different clienteles, both places had similar playlists:  1970s soft rock.  The difference being that the LES place played that music "ironically".  Which didn't make it any more bearable.

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And when bar dining returns (it's theoretically permitted now in my hometown of NYC, but few places are offering it because the remaining distance requirements render it unappealing for diners and probably not worth bothering with financially for the restaurant), all outdoor bets are off.

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On 4/1/2020 at 2:18 PM, cinghiale said:

I generally tend to pessimism. The landscape will certainly look much different everywhere. I for one will be hesitant to enter a close-quarters environment for some time. Chang is definitely worried (per the NYT piece that I can't seem to link to). Landlords are currently unwilling to come down from rent demands. I can't see how places will be able to relaunch. The costs in what is certain to be a tight credit market are likely insurmountable (at least under the"old" model). Am I being Cassandra-ish?

Yes

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On 5/11/2021 at 11:09 AM, Wilfrid said:

After fourteen months of daily practice, I can make the classics blindfolded,

But you still shake the ones that need to be stirred!

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2 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

So I guess I'm becoming an outdoor-dining convert.  At least while the weather is nice.  When it gets oppressively hot, I'ma want to move back inside.

Yes, a quandary indeed.  I think one of the reasons I've been to Cafe Katja a few times, in addition to reasons already mentioned elsewhere, is that they early on built a pretty nice structure outside, which makes it, to me, infinitely more bearable.  I have not yet been to another of my LES faves, as their outdoor space is totally uncovered, and basically in the middle of the closed off street. I guess some sort of "roof" over my head, when dining in a restaurant situation, is somewhat important.

As to a 3rd lower east side favorite, it's really in my neighborhood, and I don't want sit out where they have their seats. For reasons perhaps already mentioned elsewhere. (Though I believe they are now seating inside, which I'm gonna have to get all over).

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