Our Restaurant Fantasies, Revealed


After reading this fun restaurant wish-list over on Diner’s Journal, the Fork team started wishing and hoping for some of our own fantasy places to open.

I’d love for a truck to drive around in the winter serving cups of really good, hot cassoulet. If there’s a line, there will be nips of brandy while you wait. And my goodness, if a casual Indian place opened in my neighborhood, serving fresh, excellent Gujurati snacks like patrel and dhokra, along with some great beers, and pots of masala chai, I’d be really happy. Also, how about a place doing exquisite tasting menus that are delicious and affordable?

Here are more Fork wishes, from Laotian and Taiwanese, to Louisianan:

Robert Sietsema: I would love to see a ma-and-pa Laotian restaurant like those they have in Nice, France and also a mutton barbecue shack on the wrong side of the tracks like the kind they have around Owensboro, Kentucky. And while we’re at it, why not a real Tex-Mex, Austin style serving migas, cheese enchiladas with chili gravy, and, of course, breakfast tacos. And the time might be ripe, given low lobster prices, for a pick-it-yourself lobster pound.

Clarissa Wei: A quality Taiwanese restaurant without a trace of gua bao on their menu. I’m thinking boba and tea directly imported from tea farms in Taiwan and a chef raised and trained in the southern region of Taiwan. A lot of oysters, offal options, and dirt cheap.

L. Nichols: One of the things I’d love to see in NYC is a place that I can find fresh Louisiana-style boudin. Ideally this place would serve the boudin by the pound in flimsy paper boats. On the side would be dirty rice, corn macque choux, & beer by the pitcher. Seating would be family style at plastic covered picnic tables. By the cash register they would have small paper bags full of fresh cracklins to take home for a midnight snack.

Lauren Mowery: I would love to see a wine and coffee retail shop with simultaneous on-premise wine license. In other words, a retail store with a tasting bar plus seating in an outdoor patio or roofdeck allowing customers to drink their wine for a minor corkage fee. All of the wine would be medium to small production, no more than 3000 cases from any winery, sourced from lesser known regions in the United States such as Mendocino, or smaller producers in more popular regions. International bottles would include wines from Croatia, Turkey, Uruguay, plus less well-known appellations in classic wine producing countries, such as Faugères in Southern France. And all wines would have shelf tags describing the bottle and the winery, written by the staff. Local cheese and charcuterie would be served, and local bands would play.

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