Just How Long Should a Meal Be?

/ November 9, 2016

I’m a big fan of long, leisurely dinners. At many high-end restaurants, such repasts are the norm. You can’t get out before three hours are up unless you let the staff know you’re going to the theater, trying to catch a plane, seeking a spot on the line at Shake Shack and so on. Full meals sho...

The Elusive Napkin-in-the-Shirt Diner

/ November 7, 2016

Manners are a fickle thing, aren’t they? It seems like only yesterday that folks around the known universe often tucked their napkins into their shirts during mealtimes. Now, however, that practice seems to be rare or even forgotten, a vestige of an all-too-gauche era during which people dried the...

C’mon, C’mon, C’mon, C’mon, Don’t Touch Me, Waitstaff

/ November 3, 2016

Is it just me, or is being touched by a waiter or waitress while dining out at a restaurant the height of personal-space invasion? OK, maybe I’m being a little persnickety. But don’t you think that when you’re paying for a meal at any eatery, the service should be hands-off … literally? Why ...

Thoughts on Sitting Beside or Across From Your Dining Partner

/ November 3, 2016

One of the reasons why I like the great 1971 William Friedkin film The French Connection is because it shows a glimpse of 1970s New York City that has almost completely disappeared. Sure, we still have much of the lovable grime and debris that play such a prominent role in the movie, but there’s a...

Doth Music Soothe the Savage Gourmet?

/ November 3, 2016

While dining with my wife at Bouley earlier this year, I heard something rather interesting that deserves to be mentioned. Music—presumably of the recorded variety. Not unappealing, but definitely curious. What was it doing at Bouley, one of the great bastions of Manhattan gastronomy? As I recall,...

The Terrible Problem of Faux Martinis

/ November 3, 2016

We’ve come to a point in time where just about any adult beverage, it seems, can be called a Martini. Chocolate Martinis, of course, are a standard now. So are those green apple things that look like pureed lime gelatin and taste like the liquid inside those wax candy sticks once sold at supermark...

Would You Like Flaccid, Oil-Soaked Fries with That?

/ November 3, 2016

There’s a horrible epidemic infecting America that few people are addressing … even though it pervades the nation’s fabric like stars spangling a banner. It’s a disease that has infiltrated the souls of U.S. citizens after being latent for many moons. It’s unstoppable, affecting both rich ...

Feelin’ Bluevy

/ November 3, 2016

In meals of yore, one would often follow entrees with cheeses that aimed to spark the appetite for sweet desserts ... or even replace them as the savory finales. Boy, have times changed. Nowadays, diners are just as likely to find the fromage at the beginning of their menus as at the end. And that h...

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