January 1, 1985 | Vintage Insatiable

Vintage Insatiable Critic: 1985-1989

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GOBBLING BREAD AT RAO'S

April 5, 1985

Anyway, we’re driving to the edge of the world, and just where it drops off, there’s Rao’s. First off, you’ve got to admire the décor: Christmas tinsel, a Valentine heart, dried hydrangeas, Sammy Davis Jr. plaster of Paris, a giant Labrador... more

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THE REAL THING

April 29, 1985

With its gently priced, informal, late-night celebration of la cucina italiana, Sandro’s provokes tickles of hope... more

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JAMES BEARD: THE FATHER OF US ALL

June 3, 1985

Before the new American cooking, chefs as superstars, and our great irrepressible gourmania… there was James Beard, our Big Daddy... more

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THE JOY OF PIZZA

July 1, 1985

Pizza, my twelve-year-old self-styled pizza authority, Joey Goldman, informs me, is like sex. “When it’s good, it’s great, and even when it’s not so good, it’s still pretty great.” Let me just note that having tasted 187 pizzas in the past three months, I’ve lost a certain adolescent innocence… more

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GAEL GRAZES

September 30, 1985

Nibbling and trolling – grazing – is our new mode of eating, and I rather like it. Taxiing to the edges of civilization in the quest for the new, the hungry New Yorker suddenly seems oddly tolerant, as if the point of eating were no longer culinary epiphany but rather just a bit of calcium and fiber to fuel the evening’s networking…more

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WESTWARD, HAUTE!

November 25, 1985

In another brief incarnation, this low-slung molded-plaster cave on East 60th Street was an Alpine ski hut, the less-than-adored Stamperl. Not for Joseph Santo such a compromising position... more

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LE BERNARDIN BEGUILES OUR CROCODILES

February 24, 1986

Cozy enough at Le Bernardin, their two-star, Brittany-sky-blue nook off the Champs Élysées, Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze never wanted anything but New York... more

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PALIO: GALLOPING CONSUMPTION

April 14, 1986

The Palio is a wild and reckless horse race run twice each summer around Siena’s Piazza del Campo… Amazing, isn’t it, that this 400-year-old mayhem has inspired what may be New York’s most beautiful new restaurant...more

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BEAUCOUP DE BISTROS

July 14, 1986

Six new spots that don't like it hot... more

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ADDING UP THE NEW '21'

June 1, 1987

Ken Aretsky is anxious. He gets up early every morning now so he can “get ready to be aggravated sooner.” But a perpetually nervous man makes a good restaurateur, because he never stops sniffing for disaster...And he doesn’t sleep much because he became the front man in the greening of ‘21.’ ... more

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BOULEY: VAULTING AMBITION

September 5, 1987

Well, Bouley has heard the mutterings of discontent. Now he’s clocking the kitchen flow, and though the ceremony still moves with the pace (but not the confidence) or a British coronation, the kitchen is cutting loose. On my most recent visit, flavors are more emphatic…more

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OVER THE RAINBOW: RENAISSANCE OF A NEW YORK CLASSIC

February 8, 1988

Yes, it's true that late one night last summer, Joe Baum slipped in the entry to his apartment building and landed on his head, requiring 112 stitches, but that blow was nothing compared with the trauma of opening the new -- strike that -- newly restored Rainbow Room and David Rockefeller's dream club in the stratosphere... more

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ZABAR'S: VALHALLA A LA MURRAY KLEIN

April 18, 1988

 "You should see the people of the neighborhood bring in their friends to show them Zabar's," says Murray Klein. "They have such pride. I wish I felt pride, too. We got 200 people working... more

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TRIO CON BRIO

July 16, 1988

"...At the new Maxwell's Plum, the gaslights still twinkle, and the latest hopeful at the range is impressive, full of rich shocks..." more

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 AN AMERICAN PLACE

March 27, 1989

An American Place II opened soft, without trumpets, but by the second Saturday night, food-worldlings outnumbered civilians. The chill and clatter of La Coupole has been warmed and muffled… more

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LE CIRQUE: CIRCUS OF THE STARS

April 10, 1989

Now at Le Cirque, toiling in the vortex of Sirio Maccioni’s consuming obsession with perfection, Daniel Boulud is flying. Day after day, he perfects dramatic new matings, all the while reviving great bistro classics… more

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BRIVE: THE SKATE HATH NEW WINGS

April 10, 1989

It’s almost like a neurological affliction, a nervous tic, Bobby Pritsker’s infamous irreverence. The little inside jokes on Brive’s menus. “Franks and beans, ballpark style.” Isn't it enough that his “surf as turf” sings with flavor? ... more

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150 WOOSTER: BRIAN'S BODY SHOP

July 7, 1989

If only we could bottle Brian McNally. If only some Harvard MBA could reproduce McNally’s seemingly improvisational fumblings to a formula. For months we’ve been hearing that Brian was to open a restaurant… more

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ADRIENNE: SWISS WATCH

July 31, 1989

Nobody cooks like Gray Kunz. Not in New York. No one who’s ever fed me. He is a gifted original, animated by his mentor, the mythic Fredy Girardet, yet with his own brilliant palette, his own subtle signature…more

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ALISON'S ON DOMINICK: TRIPPING THE BITE FANTASTIC

August 14, 1989

Behind the billowing deep-blue velvet curtain, I assume. “It’s a funeral parlor,” whispers one of my chums. But the gloomy intimation quickly fades as we succumb to the perfume of butter turning the deep hue of hazelnut…more

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FLAMINGO EAST: NEST FOR PACK RATS

August 15, 1989

What makes a new beanery hot? Sometimes just saying so… often enough, in the right places…But it’s a summery Saturday, and only a few bright-lights-bedazzled moths buzz the bar…more

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WHY THEY KILL TO GET INTO 150 WOOSTER

October 10, 1989

The battle to be in the right boite at a status table before Calvin and Bianca move on never ends.  Scarred and smartened by tabletop power struggles, we hungry New Yorkers will try anything…more

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ROYALTON FLUSH

November 20, 1989

44” already draws its share of trendetti.Fashion pages from Details come to life. One Friday at dinner, most everyone looks like a rock group at the very least…" more

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December 25, 1989

We’ve hired a car and are off in search of downtown. Specifically, downtown “eats.” Eat-heat. Anthropology on toast. A couple of immutable uptowners among the aborigines. Isn't it amazing? Suddenly, New York’s hottest and most imperative restaurants...more

 

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