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Dining Out: Where would you go?

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At one restaurant, we picked the fennel flowers from the planter next to us and used them on our fried anchovies. Can't do that indoors!

A good summary from El País:   https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-10-28/a-room-a-bar-and-a-class-how-the-coronavirus-is-spread-through-the-air.html?ssm=TW_CC

I don’t want to leave because I think somewhere else would be “nice”. I want to leave because I think American Death Capitalism is malicious and evil. 

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On 11/22/2020 at 12:27 AM, Sneakeater said:

I went to Shaun Hergott's Vestry last night.

The food was, well, Shaun Hergott.  Totally out of step with the current NYC zeitgeist (where even the fucking New Yorker is declaring that fine dining is no longer cool).  Well, except maybe a touch less militantly non-local than before.  But I just like the way his stuff tastes.  And he's got to be one of the best fish chefs around.

The service didn't hang together.  I think the problem was that there was no continuity; rather, it was like every FOH person was his or her own satellite.  As an example, when I arrived, I checked in at the desk.  The person at the desk had me shown to a table.  And then, a few minutes later, an officious guy appeared at tableside and asked me if I'd talked to anyone yet (the clear implication being that I was someone who had just been walking up the block and decided to sit down).  I told him I'd checked in and had been seated -- and would appreciate someone's taking my cocktail order, as my date had given me no particular reason to expect she'd be on time.

It continued in like manner throughout the night.  You'd tell one server something, and then another server would appear who'd never heard it.

I really did like the food, though.  But then I always like Chef Hergatt's food.

Copious heat lamps.  Which is an important consideration these days.



Some residents also railed against surging fees at the building’s private restaurant, overseen by the Michelin-star chef, Shaun Hergatt. When the building opened in late 2015, homeowners were required to spend $1,200 a year on the service; in 2021, that requirement jumps to $15,000, despite limited hours of operation because of the pandemic. And breakfast is no longer free.

Seems to be going well....

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Go Rachel Sugar!


Delivery is, at best, okay. It is fine. It can even be enjoyable (especially if it is pizza). But compared to food served inside a restaurant, it is a constant letdown. It is gummier, soggier, oilier, messier, uglier, the wrong texture, the wrong temperature.

I think she's wrong, though, in her (or rather the editor who wrote the headline's) assertion that "ghost kitchens are not the future of restaurants."  I think what she means is, "ghost kitchens shouldn't be the future of restaurants."  Convenience almost always trumps quality in the mass market.  Look at audio:  high-quality audio has almost been wiped out as a consumer category.  People demand Blu Tooth even though, in its most advanced current state, it sounds like shit.  People use popular ear buds even though they also sound like shit.  People accept lossy compressed sound relays even though they sound like shit.  Because people don't care that they sound like shit.  They care that they're convenient.

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The funniest one was down the block from us. It was a ghost sushi place and after they closed last year I spoke with the owner who told me they had some corporate clients but basically just one client that mattered...



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lol. yeah. I suspect there are a lot of questionable business models out there who are living for now off of other questionable business models.

Reminds me of a super cringe-y playground moment from 2019 with a bunch of dads. Thankfully I kept my mouth shut.

Super nice earnest-y ex-management consultant "I left BCG/Bain/McK to go do corp dev at wework. Its just such an incredible opportunity. We're really doing something special"

Jaded Finance Guy (not me - I swear) - "But isn't that like not a real business? Like arent you just buying long and selling short" (proceeds to explain to the guy why WeWork is preposterous as a business)

The rest of us avert our eyes.

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