• Posted by Califia Suntree on July 2nd, 2006, 4:12 PM

    my 5 day trip to new york has turned into an over-three-week long working sojourn. it’s certainly true that this town is an eater’s paradise (or, rather, a diner’s paradise) but it’s clear to me that it’s not a cook’s paradise. groceries cost a fortune, so why not just pick something up? kitchens are small, prepared food plentiful…you get the idea. my experience in LA has been the inverse: incredibly few restaurants but the grocery selection is astounding, the kitchens are as big as the living room, so on.  but oddly, what i miss most when in LA are bodegas. they aren’t on every corner there and they mostly sell alcohol and peanuts. incidentally, i checked out the menu at saul’s, on smith st. in brooklyn. (the current couch i’m surfing is barely a block away.) as the only brooklyn restaurant to be anointed with a star in last year’s new york-debut michelin guide, i was curious. while i’m sure the food is well prepared, the menu was a total snooze! the chilled pea soup with mint (at $11 bucks it better come in a tureen) sounded refreshing (it’s about 8 thousand degrees outside), but the dinner offerings read like all the other snooty french/american joints that pepper manhattan: foie gras, cured salmon, sea bass, ribeye, squab…seems to be the template for ‘fine dining.’ but, hey, i could be wildly off base here. anyone wanna give me $200 to find out for sure?

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