The New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo is at it again, this time with a rant about all the things that bother him about New York City dining. Specifically, he gripes against restaurants that don’t take reservations, restaurants that do take reservations but regular people can’t get them, unfriendly restaurant owners, Koreatown, nightclubby restaurants, and “buzzy” restaurants. But Steve, if you don’t like these places, why are you going to them? New York City, with its tens of thousands of restaurants, enables your having an amazing meal pretty much anywhere. If you don’t like something, go somewhere else, for goodness sake!
Some of Cuozzo’s claims are valid. After all, no one wants to wait two hours for a table or endure a dining experience that punishes more than it pleases. It is annoying when restaurants don’t take reservations, particularly for people who work late and can’t make the 5 p.m. time slot.
But not taking reservations is also democratizing. It’s equally annoying having to call up a restaurant like Babbo exactly 30 calendar days in advance at 10 a.m. right when the reservation lines open — or when you call at 10:15 and discover they’re completely booked, and to try back tomorrow for a new day.
And not liking Korean food? What kind of food writer are you? Cuozzo writes, “To feel like a country bumpkin, nothing beats a trip to the Korean establishments in the West 30s. First, you must make your way through an endless menu full of indecipherable items. Then, tremulously seek guidance from waiters who speak no English. Finally — after you’ve somehow managed to find someone to bring you some kind of food you think you might be able to eat, and it at last arrives at your table, voila! — you have to cook it yourself!”
Sorry, Steve, but that is simply ridiculous. Maybe if you took the time to research Korean cuisine, the menu items wouldn’t be indecipherable. And where’s your joy in discovering the unknown? Furthermore, plenty of K-Town restaurants offer non-barbecue items if you don’t want to cook the food yourself.
How about celebrating the awesomeness of New York City’s culinary landscape? Where else in the world can you experience so many different cuisines all within walking distance or a short subway ride away? This is a city where you can eat whatever you want basically whenever you want. There are 20,000 restaurants in this city to choose from — and there are too many good ones here to spend newspaper space whining.