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  • Mouthful Meets Lungful

    Article

    Mouthful Meets Lungful

    I know butter is back. I took it in stride when my young cousin started eyeing my venerable fondue pot. Nonetheless, I was surprised when I was invited to a favorite new Midtown spot by a cutting-edge friend only to find him ensconced at a prime tabl...

    by Jessica Harris on April 18, 2000
  • Little Sheba

    Article

    Little Sheba

    Though the smeary pink interior of 145 Luncheonette is accented with fake brick like a '60s diner, a squint through the window reveals an Arabic menu at the end of the room with no English translations. A mural on one wall depicts a town of adobe tow...

    by Robert Sietsema on April 11, 2000
  • Article

    Isla in the Smog

    Nuevo Latino crept up on us with the stealth of a good chile. First, salsa became as ubiquitous as ketchup. Then, Miami's Mango Gang, as foodies call the town's trendier chefs, fired up their Vikings and Vulcans and cuchifrito food lost its lard. Now...

    by Jessica Harris on April 4, 2000
  • Sail Away - Cancel That Flight to Los Angeles

    Article

    Sail Away - Cancel That Flight to Los Angeles

    Until recently, Gotham's Thai food lovers had a difficult choice: hang their heads in shame or move to Los Angeles. Then Sripraphai appeared, and we had at last one place to brag about. Now, more great Thai eateries are accumulating in Queens. Latest...

    by Robert Sietsema on March 28, 2000
  • Everything's Ducky in Brooklyn - Be Sure You Have Room for Starters at Saul

    Article

    Everything's Ducky in Brooklyn - Be Sure You Have Room for Starters at Saul

    Saul, on Smith Street's increasingly hot restaurant strip, looks more like an Italian social club than a bistro with buzz: a modern brick front, a blind-covered picture window, and no sign whatever, unless you count the large "S" on the glass door. B...

    by Jessica Harris on March 21, 2000
  • Palermo Spleen

    Article

    Palermo Spleen

    "Focacceria" sounds like a trendy Tuscan bakery, but in parts of Brooklyn it denotes an old-fashioned Sicilian eatery specializing in snacks that can be eaten standing up, including short dishes of vegetables and seafood, and, especially, sandwiches ...

    by Robert Sietsema on March 14, 2000
  • What a Dif’rence a Day Makes

    Article

    What a Difrence a Day Makes

    Many years ago, a teacher wrote on the board in my freshman philosophy course, "You can't step twice in the same river." I suspect this fragment of Heraclitus is all I remember from pre-Socratic philosophy because its validity is so inescapable. It's...

    by Jessica Harris on March 7, 2000
  • Article

    Lower East Side Newcomer Earns Its B

    Guernica has some witty notions. Instead of occupying indentations in a round metal tray, escargots ($9) arrive in a basket whittled from a crusty baguette, tumbling over the sides in a cascade of parsley butter. You could throw away the mollusks and...

    by Robert Sietsema on February 29, 2000
  • White Rum, Fresh Vanilla, and the Fritter Factor

    Article

    White Rum, Fresh Vanilla, and the Fritter Factor

    For several years, the wind of Gallic influence has littered New York's streets with bistros, brasseries, and patisseries. But now that wind has shifted, and a soft breeze from the south has brought Gotham the creolized flavors of the French Antilles...

    by Jessica Harris on February 22, 2000
  • Article

    Gods Fry-O-Lator

    If you've ever wondered what it feels like to be a sardine, drop by the corner of Madison Avenue and 125th Street on a sunny winter afternoon. Occupying a prime location still unclaimed by Starbucks or the Body Shop, the timeworn storefront enigmatic...

    by Robert Sietsema on February 15, 2000
  • Hot Times in a Forest Hills Mango

    Article

    Hot Times in a Forest Hills Mango

    When the temperature plummets, I find myself glancing at menus posted in windows, sniffing exhausts for the scent of chile and the warm molasses odor of rum, in search of a vacation on a plate. My local standbys, with their warming soups and aromatic...

    by Jessica Harris on February 8, 2000
  • Article

    Scary Black Egg

    Digging into pasembur ($6.95) is like excavating an Egyptian pyramid. Shrimp-embedded flatbreads shingle the tomb, while goobers lurk beneath crusted with fermented shrimp paste, making a superfunky peanut brittle. Below that, cucumber, sprouts, jica...

    by Robert Sietsema on February 1, 2000
  • Sailing Into the Midtown Sea

    Article

    Sailing Into the Midtown Sea

    Recently, Midtown has blossomed with spots that are jockeying for position as the classics of the zero decade. Chez Louis celebrates foie gras and the simplicity of a good roast chicken, Beacon glorifies the theatricality of the open hearth, and Rue ...

    by Jessica Harris on January 25, 2000
  • Article

    Gravy, Gravy, Gravy

    A panoramic window peers into the tandoori chamber, offering a cinematic view of an elderly chef, her head swaddled in white linen, method-ically handclapping dough into round nans. Using what looks like a white catcher's mitt, she pitches them into ...

    by Robert Sietsema on January 18, 2000
  • Simply Heavenly Uptown Spot Is No Flash in the Pan

    Article

    Simply Heavenly Uptown Spot Is No Flash in the Pan

    Perhaps because we share the same first name and middle initial, I'm a longtime fan of Langston Hughes's Jesse B. Semple. I've savored his homespun philosophy, recalled moments from the 1950s version of Simply Heaven, and dreamed of frequenting the k...

    by Jessica Harris on January 11, 2000
  • The Eggman Cometh

    Article

    The Eggman Cometh

    Restaurants that mimic Parisian bistros have become so commonplace downtown that we hardly notice when a new one pops up. I've always found certain aspects annoyingthe pseudoantique advertising plac- ards, predictable menus, haughty waiters, and ten...

    by Robert Sietsema on January 4, 2000
  • Sumptuous Food on Special Reserve

    Article

    Sumptuous Food on Special Reserve

    Sometimes I feel not unlike Columbus, an adventurer in search of spices. I add cardamom to my coffee, ras al hanout to my roast lamb, and even throw cubebs into my pepper mill. So of course I was intrigued when Tabla's opening last year titillated th...

    by Jessica Harris on December 28, 1999
  • Article

    New Greenpoint Outpost of Southern Cooking

    Way off the tourist track, Vallo di Diano occupies the semiarid lower stretch of Italy's Campania. On a hillock in the center sits Teggiano, a town whose history harkens back to the Greeks. During the last century, hard-pressed paisanos emigrated fro...

    by Robert Sietsema on December 21, 1999
  • Article

    Bippity Boppity Belle

    Some restaurants beckon with bright lights and fancy facades. Others prominently post alluring menus. Still others entice with contented crowds glimpsed through plate glass. As someone who spent too much time next to the record player at teen parties...

    by Jessica Harris on December 14, 1999
  • Bunny Chow

    Article

    Bunny Chow

    Cobbled together of salvaged wood and Quonset-hut tin, it might be a grog shop in Soweto. There's a shelf crowded with handwoven baskets, a couple of ostrich eggs, and a row of kero- sene lanterns suspended near the ceilingas if the electricity migh...

    by Robert Sietsema on December 7, 1999
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