Frank Bruni Sings His Swan Song

Though the past few weeks' endless coverage of Born Round could make you forget that Frank Bruni is going anywhere, today he pens his final column for the Times. Since he's finished reviewing restaurants, he instead pulls a Dear Abby, answering questions he's been asked -- and wishes he'd been asked -- during his tenure. "Where can I find great value?" Try Eleven Madison Park, which Bruni says has comparatively better value than the less pricey Momofuku Ssam Bar. The best way to navigate a menu? Avoid anything with truffle oil. There are shout-outs aplenty: Bruni proclaims Sushi Yasuda and Masa to be the city's finest destinations for raw fish, and calls the fusilli with tomato, octopus, and bone marrow at Marea "a revelation." Peasant, Cafe Luxembourg, and the Fairway Cafe are all places where he likes to spend his own money (if only the rest of us had the luxury of making such a distinction). Finally, the outgoing critic plants a good-bye kiss on his favorite and often overlooked restaurants, lavishing particular attention on Perbacco, 'Cesca, Accademia di Vino, 15 East, and Degustation. And then, after taking it all in, the world burps, unbuttons its trousers, and prepares for whatever Sam Sifton will be serving for the next course.


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