About halfway through our dinner at La Buco di Marco, “Welcome to the Jungle” came on the radio. It was the right song at the right time. The restaurant, at that moment, was starting to feel a little wild.
The first thing that happened when I walked into Blair’s on Hudson was that I ran into some friends I hadn’t seen in a few years. It was a Thursday night and Blair’s was packed. Judging by the level of chatter and laughter in the air, we weren’t the only guests who had discovered an old friend at the bar or at the next table.
With the fancy food coming out of the kitchen brought out by a wait staff dressed in jeans, Chez Hugo Bistro is a place that straddles the line between the old-school, white-tablecloth notions of high-end French cuisine and the new, more democratic approach to “good” food that characterizes 21st century American restaurants.
Thirty-five years ago, Elizabeth Large, then the restaurant critic at The Sun, reviewed the Little Italy restaurant Velleggia’s, which had recently undergone a major renovation.
According to Large, at the time, it was practically unheard of for a restaurant to completely transform its physical space. “I’ve never known a successful restaurant to do what Velleggia’s in Little Italy did,” she wrote.
Today, on the other hand, that sort of undertaking is commonplace. In the current restaurant market where diners are informed, social media rules and genuinely good restaurants open regularly, even highly lauded, fairly new restaurants know better than to rest on their laurels.
Case in point: Puerto 511.
How do you feel about pig parts?
It’s entirely likely that this is a question you’ve never asked yourself, but it’s something dinner at Foraged Eatery will force you to consider.