food 01.16.06

Dinner in Six Calls

A Tale in Six Calls, in which a Friend from Out of Town visits and Plans are made At the Last Minute to Dine on a Friday night. But to Which Establishment Should They Repair? Therein hangs The Tale.

1st Phone Call
"Where are we going?"
"I'd like to take Barbara to Little Giant. Think we can get a reservation?"
"I'll call them."

2nd Phone Call
"I left a message on Little Giant's machine. They don't serve lunch, so they probably won't turn up til 4 or so."

3rd Phone Call
"Little Giant only has 6 or 10, but we're first on the waiting list if there are any cancellations."

4th Phone Call
"Good news and bad news. Little Giant left a message on my cell that they had a table at 8, but by the time I called back, it was already gone."
"That's a drag. Where else should we go?"
"Barbara thought maybe French."
"How about Le Gigot?"
"I love Le Gigot. Let's meet there at 8:30."

5th Phone Call
"I had another idea that Barbara might like. Why don't we go to Chow Bar and have a bunch of apps. If it's crowded we can eat at the bar."
"We can check out the waits at August and Extra Virgin on the way as backups."
"I passed by Extra Virgin a few nights ago and saw Joey Fortunato at the back of the restaurant in his whites. I'm always happy to see chefs actually in their restaurant. Especially talented ones like Fortunato."
"True. I think I've eaten at about six places where he's cooked and he never disappoints."
"But I think I'm more in the mood for Asian. Why don't we meet at Chow Bar and take it from there?"

6th Phone Call
More discussion, then the upshot — a late entrant. We end up going to Peking Duck House, where the star dish is as winning as ever, and the remodeling job done on the main room makes it among the least neonish, most stylish Chinatown restaurants. We wouldn't have gone wrong with any of our restaurant choices, which reminds us of the benefits of getting off the latest/greatest/hippest/hottest track sometimes, and how generously New York obliges with alternatives, and the enormous pleasures of simply eating well with good friends.

Little Giant, 85 Orchard [Broome] 212.226.5047
Le Gigot, 18 Cornelia [Bleecker/W. 4th] 212.627.3737
Chow Bar, 230 W. 4th [W. 10th] 212.633.2212
August, 359 Bleecker [Charles/W. 10th] 212.929.4774
Extra Virgin, 259 W. 4th [Charles/Perry] 212.691.9359
Peking Duck House, 28 Mott [Pell/Chatham Sq.] 212.227.1810
We've written about Jellio before, a company that mixes vintage toys and games with interior design, but Mario Marsicano, who started the company, has created something new that we love: a limited edition piece of wall art called "Turbo," which turns the idea of a plastic car kit into wall sculpture (pictured). $2500. Of the ten pieces produced, seven have already been sold. More info.

MLK, Jr. at Riverside Church, April 4th, 1967, "Beyond Vietnam"
And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

american museum of natural history

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