Category Archives: United States

Frej

The last time I felt like I made an important gastronomic discovery, I was two years old.

Hambuhbuh… shoop shies… toke…” a tiny, curly-headed version of me would babble. I fancied myself a pioneer, a spokesman and tastemaker for gourmet toddlers worldwide. Once I learned of their collective existence, all I wanted was a hamburger, french fries and Coke — and I felt inclined to tell everyone willing to listen.

Now I’m a few more than two years old. Whether or not I still babble is debatable. But again, I feel like I’m on to something.

Or maybe I’m just on something. Coke is not involved but mushrooms keep popping up during dinner. Acid, too. At meal’s end, the effect of staring at a subtotal so unreasonably reasonable is mildly hallucinogenic.

And now I’ve picked up a bit of a habit. I go to Frej every week. Fredrik Berselius and Richard Kuo always seem to have the good stuff. Continue reading

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Roberta’s

I’m not cool enough to lead the life I do.

I step into a coffee shop and in no time they pop the question: “So, do you live around here?” No, I don’t. I actually took the train for forty-five minutes (two transfers!) to get here because I love your single-origin espresso. Not cool.

After I down my macchiato in shame, I go to work for a restaurant group that exudes unmistakable machismo and a devil-may-care attitude toward customers and non-customers alike. Meanwhile I keep an Excel spreadsheet of my earnings there. A friggin’ spreadsheet! So not cool.

I’m also embarrassed that there is not a single outfit in my wardrobe that lets me blend in at Roberta’s, currently my favorite restaurant in New York. My girlfriend, meanwhile, can only wear her one plaid shirt so many times. I think they are beginning to catch on. Continue reading

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