The thing about being a thin person is keeping the mindset that whatever it is you’re eating, you can always have more of it at another time. You needn’t cram it all into your hole at once, guarding your plate like a hokey player. Except I can’t have more of it at another time. This is my opportunity!
I don’t want even the slightest glimpse of down-home cooking. I don’t want to see a rib or anything approaching BBQ, and I’m not stepping foot near even the most lovely "we make your tortilla, guacamole, and life… tableside" Mexican establishment. What this means is my train is making all local stops. I intend to eat only small bites with a glass of wine at each lovely spot. No entree. Just a simple flavor, a wee bit of this.
I’ll unlikely stop at a grand Italian spot where they serve you their favorite dishes until you unbutton your pants. I won’t be stopping at Artisinal or Balthazar, as I know (and adore) their flavors by heart. Nor will I be visiting Cafe Boulud or La Goulue (I’d rather roll my eyes elsewhere). It’s more of a solo eating journey that can be enjoyed alone or with a friend who can only get away for a quick stop between meetings, dates, and errands. It doesn’t mean I have to make poor choices, but it does mean a lot of walking and a lot of hard decisions. But here are some easy ones:
Gotham Bar & Grill: I first went to Gotham Bar & Grill when I was sixteen, with Hillary Cohen. Her parents had rented a limo for her birthday, sending a half dozen of us to the restaurant, then off to Emerald City (a green sparkly nightclub once upon a leprechaun). I remember everything about that magical evening. I wore my hair blown smooth and was wearing a black velvet bodysuit (with a snap crotch), and matching black velvet mini, tall tall black leather boots. I looked like a waitress at a trendy it spot. I was sixteen, touring the town in a limo, eating a vegetable plate with goat cheese–I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian for nine years–and I walked past velvet ropes in my velvet getup… and I thought, this is what it’s all about. I never want to leave this sparkling city where people don’t eat; they dine. Where people don’t dance; they club. And then I grew up and moved into the city and thought, what the hell was I thinking? A vegetarian for nine years? Girl, you crazy. Gotham Bar & Grill has exceptional seared foie gras (as evil and wrong as it is).
Gramercy Tavern: Lunch at the bar is usually my go-to move, my power move. I love cozying up to that bar and judging the cheese out of people. I imagine the peculiar details of their lives, assess their dietary decisions, size them up based on their grape of choice. Plus, I live to drop an eaves. It’s not on their menu, but they always have it, and it’s not to be missed: Dessert Caviar.
Italian Wine Merchant: I never find good wine in Texas. I’m a big fat fan of Italian Wine Merchants and plan on shipping us a few bottles.
Um, or scrap that. Phil wants me to hit Il Postino with him. I can eat a small something there, no?