Posts from ‘Midtown’
April Bloomfield has good game. She’s single, probably has loads of quality men calling and texting daily, and she probably makes them wait. Men have a primal need for “The Chase”, and Manhattan diners aren’t any different. But do good things come to those who wait?
Bloomfield is the 36-year old British chef and co-owner of New York’s latest buzzed-about gastropub: The Breslin. Along with partner Ken Friedman, former music industry hotshot whose midlife crisis morphed him into a restaurant mogul, Bloomfield is behind the West Village cool kid hangout, The Spotted Pig, and the shuttered seafood failure, The John Dory. Part of their mojo? No reservations.
Alas, I was not surprised when the hostess reported a two hour wait for our party of three. It was 9pm on a rainy Friday night, so this hardly came as a surprise. But just twenty minutes later, before my first cocktail was even reduced to a pair of elements, our party was seated amongst empty tables. Why would the hostess scare people away with tales of two hour waits? Why were they passing up revenue?
The answer is simple: strategy. Everyone scared off by the 2-hour wait ubiquitously goes to brunch with their friends on Sunday and reports to coworkers on Monday that The Breslin was packed and oh-so-hard-like-totally-impossible to get into. Before you know it, the entire population of New Yorkers who pride themselves on keeping time with the city’s pulsing restaurant scene are under the false impression that The Breslin is awesome. It’s really quite a brilliant scheme.
Can you already tell I’m not a fan of The Breslin? Let’s get down to the det’s.
Scene: The good thing about a menu heavy with leftover pig parts, is that it scares away the insipid Murray Hill crowd. I’m not going to say “well-heeled” because that’s a stupid way to describe a group of people. “Well-heeled” actually means attractive people who at least act like they have money. Great tunes and clever cocktails.
Food: The Lamb Burger, which every table is required to order…is absolutely sublime. Well seasoned, unexpected and naturally paired with feta cheese and red onion. Just order the burger and don’t screw around with anything else unless you enjoy disappointment. It appears the random swine parts have been substituted with some lighter seafood options for summer…but come Fall those spare pig parts will make their come back.
Look April, I’m not saying that I don’t like it and that I’ll never be back. The scene is fun, the music and cocktails are respectable, and that burger is pretty nice. I just love the Spotted Pig so much, that I’d rather just hang there….sifting through plates of fries until every piece of fried rosemary has been consumed before moving on to the potato products.
Ordering multiple rounds of deviled eggs and OD-ing on gnudi.
Eating half of my burger to “save” the rest for “later” (which is the taxi ride home).
Whenever someone holds a particular disdain for a food that I find impossible not to love, I automatically assume that they just haven’t experienced that food in the proper form. I’m not just a food snob, I’m an optimistic food snob with the belief that palates can be changed. So I was honest. “Excuse me? My match.com profile specifically stated my policy against picky eaters. You probably just haven’t had good sushi.”
Thirty five dates later match.com accounts had been cancelled, but the real moment of truth was upon us. The moment that would ultimately determine our fate: the sushi taste test. We sat in front of Yoshi at Sushi Yasuda [204 E.43rd St., NYC]. The best sushi I’ve consumed in my entire life has been at Yasuda…even superior to a sushi breakfast consumed after the 4am tuna auction at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. Yoshi, on the other hand, is my favorite not for scientific reasons or specific skills, but just because he’s cute in a Japanese-anime sort of way.
Yoshi matted an oblong ball of sushi rice in his chubby, hairless hands, and placed a piece of fatty tuna nigiri on the wooden platter in front of him (who we’ll now refer to as Dr. Awesome*).
As he fumbled with his chopsticks and took his first bite of real sushi–I waited with baited breath. “It’s good” he replied. A church choir started singing and the entire restaurant glowed with white light. Yasuda had another convert.
When someone says they don’t like sushi, I immediately assume it’s because they haven’t had good sushi. I indulge in the occasional Whole Foods spicy tuna rolls, but that’s not the real deal shit. Dr. Awesome had Continue Reading