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Restaurants in a post-coronavirus world


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8 minutes ago, joethefoodie said:

I have not yet been to another of my LES faves...As to a 3rd lower east side favorite...

 

2 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

a European cafe on the LES

Cervo's & Ernesto's and...something else?  Why are you guys being so cagey?

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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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17 minutes ago, joethefoodie said:

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.

To be clear, when I got to Cafe Katja the outdoor structure was totally full.  When I asked to move outside, they simply removed a table from inside and plopped it down on the sidewalk in the direct front of the restaurant.

I was perfectly content (somewhat to my surprise).

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1 hour ago, Sneakeater said:

To be clear, when I got to Cafe Katja the outdoor structure was totally full.  When I asked to move outside, they simply removed a table from inside and plopped it down on the sidewalk in the direct front of the restaurant.

I was perfectly content (somewhat to my surprise).

Ask and ye shall receive!

I don't even mind the tables right inside the wide open windows if necessary. Of course I always loathe the fact that those windows may be open even in the heat of the summer.

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Now we’re warming up, I’d be happy to see outdoor dining being a permanent thing (although, sure, does that mean indoors is empty?), but not dumbed-down casual food because, hey, it’s like a picnic.

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Katja's menu is the same! 

Here's the thing with the permanent outdoor stuff; sure, it's great. They have to figure out a way to keep cars out of the streets they're supposed to be out of. The portable fences, which are easily moved, are not a great answer.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

Now we’re warming up, I’d be happy to see outdoor dining being a permanent thing (although, sure, does that mean indoors is empty?), but not dumbed-down casual food because, hey, it’s like a picnic.

Sure, absolutely.  But those places are not even in the running for recipients of my dining dollar.

This was one of the main reasons for my own outdoor-dining skepticism. 

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I don't like eating outdoors now any more than I did before, and I'm very happy not to have to do it again. Of course there are some exceptions with very nice settings and food that's not that time and temperature sensitive, but in general you're somewhere between the civilized dining room experience and the horrors of delivery. 

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1 hour ago, Orik said:

Of course there are some exceptions with very nice settings

We took Foxface sandwiches over to Thompkins Square Park yesterday, figuring it would be pleasant enough and picnic-like.

It was - other than the constant worry about pigeon droppings.

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Call us late adopters but as we near the end of lockdowns we finally got around to ordering one of those boxes from a fancy place: MuralxFelixSchneider. Felix Schneider recently had a two star place near Nürnberg, focused on foraged stuff, and Mural has basically become the COVID-era Fenty of the Munich fine dining scene, in that they are doing collaborations each week with various other underemployed fancy kitchen teams, delivering "Finish it yourself" dinner boxes on weekends. They acquired their first star in 2019...

More than exceeded expectations, and not just for being "cooked" at home. Reminded me how enjoyable it is to eat at a place with a great kitchen at the top of its game. Both the amount of effort to put the components together, as well as the creativity to come up with those combinations would have been beyond me. It's so nice to just get new sensory input. I didn't dress up though. 

The dessert is still haunting me, and I'm not generally a dessert person. It was a salad quantity of wild herbs, with a notable mint/liquorice profile, topping a "raspberry vinegar merengue" and soured sheep's milk. Pumpkin oil lent a nutty accent. The consistency of the merengue together with the soured milk was kind of marshmallow + squidgy, like a cool Vietnamese dessert. Also barely sweet really. I have to figure out how to recreate this...

Another stand out course was a 12 week dry aged Salzburg beef tartar, topped with a rhubarb ponzu and a togarashi made of linseed, dried pig liver(!) and Rocoto chiles. I saved some of the topping for the duck we are having tomorrow. (No shame!)

Main course was Danube trout, served over barely cooked spring vegetables, including the largest fresh morels I've ever seen. Oh, there was also an intermediate course with some of the best white asparagus I've had.

Extensive instructions for heating things up, but by and large not too demanding and a nice pace.  But, I miss restaurants. And as I can't imagine they are making any money with this, they probably miss us too(?) 

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Here's something that has me concerned about the future of solo bar dining.

Knowing my affection for solo bar dining, Gage & Tollner has highly touted to me their newly opened-to-dining dining room bar.

But you know what they've done to accommodate bar dining in a not-yet-post-COVID world?

They attached a line of two-top table pods to the bar.  That's where you sit.  So eating at the bar is just like eating at a table.  It is no different, in terms of interaction with the staff and other bar diners -- of not feeling like you're dining by yourself -- from sitting alone at a two-top in the dining room.

I hope this isn't the wave of the future.

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