Thursday, January 27, 2011

West Coast report

Flip flops in January is a pretty damn civilized concept, especially when I think about the nuisance of  crossing an intersection in NYC, post-snowstorm (which apparently is all the time these days).  But now that my closest geographical acronym is PCH, I'm pissed that I'll be missing this Adrian "in conversation" with artist Leanne Shapton event next month at the Strand, where he'll also be signing copies of his new book Scenes from an Impending Marriage. I went to his (really amazing) wedding years ago where guests were given the original version of this comic as favors. Which reminds me, I should have sold mine on eBay when I still had a chance.

Wednesday, February 9th, 7:00 pm
Strand Bookstore
726 Broadway
In conversation with Leanne Shapton.

Oh, lepidopterist.

Nabokov -- writer, hotel dweller, lepidopterist. Le-pid-op-ter-ist. You had me at hotel dweller. You definitely had me at writer.  And now, butterflies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The best lunch deal in town: Del Posto

Last fall, Sam Sifton gave Del Posto, the Bastianich/Batali mega-restaurant in the Meatpacking district, a 4-star rating  -- his first since he became the New York Times dining critic in 2009.  And while I generally believe rating systems with their stars, numbers, or other funny little icons to be inevitably flawed, I'm down with Sifton. After heeding a rec by my NYC neighbor who is a sommelier at the restaurant, I found Del Posto to be one of the best fine-dining experiences I've ever had. Of course, I'm the kind of person that is easily impressed by whipped lardo as a complimentary option to spread on your choice of three fresh-baked breads, cheese graters re-imagined as serving trays for dessert canapes with wooden pullout drawers revealing a second secret layer of more dessert canapes, and an off-menu children's entree of gnocchi with truffled butter. And did you see those gold-dusted cheese-risotto balls?

But on top of the exquisitely prepared dishes and drinks, the waitstaff also maintained a down-to-earth elegance, even providing a purse stool for our 4-year-old-friend's Dora the Explorer backpack. Later, our waiter conceded to the fact that most truffle oils are fake, including their own, enhanced by chemical compounds such as 2,4-dithiapentane to impart that certain je ne sais quoi - which, of course, did not stop that gnocchi from being inhaled like a plate of peanuts backstage at a circus show.

The damage:  $29 for a three-course lunch prix fixe. (Of course, the a la carte order of their hundred-layer lasagna is extra.) Info:, 85 10th Avenue/16th Street, 1-212-497-8090.