What’s For Dinner? In which we ask random New Yorkers about their food lives.
Name: Mike Duffy
Occupation: Events planner
Location: Union Square, sitting on a bench, enjoying the sunny fall day
Lives: In Pennsylvania, although he lived in New York for 20 years
Mike didn’t want me to take a picture of him, saying that he’d like to “remain anonymous.” He is a trim man in his late forties, with close-cropped salt and pepper hair.
What’s your earliest food memory?
A birthday cake, probably. A classic birthday cake.
What’s your most cherished food memory?
My time in Rome, I lived there for a while. It was just one great meal after another. It’s wonderful to spend time with friends, eating and drinking wonderful food. There’s a restaurant by the Piazza dei Fiori. I can’t remember the name. I loved everything there: pasta, everything. The main would probably be veal saltimbocca; it’s wonderful.
What do you think the main differences are between the way people in Rome eat and the way New Yorkers eat?
The ingredients. And here we just imitate a lot. And everything is way overpriced. It’s not that some Italian restaurants aren’t expensive; they are. But a good restaurant here is very overpriced. I like home style food, pasta with sausage or meatballs. It doesn’t have to be gourmet.
Any places you enjoy in New York?
Lattanzi, on the westside. Everything there is wonderful. And for a more affordable night with friends, I like Sambuca, on the Upper West Side. It’s a nice family place with good, decent food.
What’s for dinner tonight?
I’m thinking about going to the Zen Palate, I’ve never been.