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One White Street: can you recapture 2011 Eleven Madison Park in Tribeca?

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If one good thing comes out of this, it may be the mention of Fradei, whose Sneak-enthusiastic thread I had somehow missed here. Still


The number of people I’d feel safe talking to this restaurant is even tinier than the restaurant is. 

seems like an important qualifier.

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Let me finally tell you about how my evening at One White started.

When we arrived for our reservation our table was not yet ready (perfectly understandable with such a small dining room).  So, having no place else to put us (God forbid they should have let us take up space at their casual downstairs bar), they had us wait out on the sidewalk on White Street.

Now I understand that we're all supposed to be ecstatically embracing the refulgent street life created by Pandemic indoor-space restrictions.  But in my dotage, I simply don't enjoy milling around on the sidewalk for indefinite periods of time.  My companion and I found a nearby stoop and sat down.

When the hostess saw us sitting on the stoop, she led us to One White's dedicated seating for parties left waiting:  a plank protruding from the sidewalk frontage of the street dining shed of their casual downstairs bar/restaurant.  I do not want to start an evening of extended fine dining sitting on a wooden plank on the sidewalk.

I'm sure we all have our problems with Eric Ripert, but we can have nothing but admiration for his refusal to reopen Le Bernardin until it could provide what he considered an appropriate experience to his food (which meant, among other things, no outdoor dining).  (It helped, of course, that Ripert has cooperative backers.)  The One White guys would no doubt argue that -- contrary to Neocon's assumption -- they're not trying to be Ripert.  But if you want to be not-Ripert, then serve relevant contemporary food, not some slightly dumbed-down version of what Ripert and his peers did years ago.  (Pace Sutton, BTW, I'd say it's more like Betony than EMP.)

The best way I can put it is this:  if you're going to cook for @rozrapp (and I say this with all possible affection and respect for Roz), then you'd better serve your food in surroundings and in a manner that Roz would find acceptable.  You can't make like you're serving it to Bushwick.  Cuz Bushwick won't be having it.

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