The first time I met Jonathan Benno, the chef at Lincoln Ristorante, he was in charge of Per Se, and I was kind of a dick. For one thing, I was drinking heavily in those days; for another, I am a swaggering extrovert, and, like many such people, I tend to disrespect less-obstreperous personalities. I was smitten with a friend of Benno’s then-fiancée, and I used to kid both women about the chef’s low-key manner. “How’s Mr. Personality?” I would bleat over my sazerac, thinking I was a regular Don Rickles or somebody. It got back to Jonathan, I found later, and he was insulted and pissed off.
This week’s New York Magazine is a series of “Workplace Confidential” essays, which include a former Lehman Brothers banker who thinks “nobody is making that much money” on Wall Street, a Page Six reporter shilling for News Corp on the DL, a firefighter who thinks anyone with post-traumatic stress disorder should “fucking get over it,” a Hollywood agent who explains that “the abject lying is crazy” in his business, and other testimonials from people saying things we already knew they thought.
The waiter stood over me, pen at the ready. “Signorina?”
For lunch I ordered sardines on toast, pickled herring, a grilled mutton chop, buttered green beans, pommes lyonnaise and lemon sherbert.
I was 12, sitting with my family in the dining room of Lloyd Triestino’s S.S. Victoria Read More
Glenn Bunger, a 38-year-old teacher from Manhattan, was driving in rural Pennsylvania last month when he saw a roadside farm. Screech! Mr. Bunger had been seeking a plump pumpkin into which he could carve the Barack Obama sunrise logo, but as he perused the crates of fresh produce, something more impressive caught his eye: an Read More
From May 28 until June 2, visitors to the first-floor atrium at Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue, weaving through perfumed salesladies at a trunk show for Gold Skin Care, will find Sarah Magid, an organic baker from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, selling her most popular item, a "Goldie"—a cylindrical chocolate sponge cake filled with buttercream that retails Read More
Last night, Thomas Keller, the chef and owner of impossible-to-penetrate gastronomical temples like Napa’s French Laundry and New York’s Per Se, said he finds the recent celebrity-chef trend rather capricious.
“I think today it’s certainly created some challenges for some of the younger chefs that really want to be celebrity chefs. Read More
‘The Essence of European Sophistication’
One day in late 2007, the 34-story Veneto will be the most voguish luxury condo in the East 50s. It happens to be east of Third Avenue, and it happens to now be a mammoth construction site, but that hasn’t stopped Midtown-ers from dropping $125 million on Read More
To Michael Ruhlman, dining at a four-star restaurant is akin to a religious experience. “The meaning of life could be found in an onion,” he writes in his new book, The Reach of a Chef, “and the battle of a busy restaurant service could deliver you to an altered state of being—equal parts grace and Read More
In the past year, I’ve visited nearly 100 restaurants, eaten at least a dozen tuna tartares, over 20 plates of “crudo,” a flock of organic chickens, God knows how many pounds of grass-fed beef, and enough fish to fill a tank at the Coney Island Aquarium. So this week seems a good time for a Read More
Dining at Per Se is a euphoric, dizzying experience. By the time I stepped out into the street, after a dinner that lasted an entire evening, I realized that I couldn’t judge this restaurant on the same basis that I judge any other establishment. It exists in a category all its own.
Per Se has Read More