December 10, 2001 | Ask Gael

I want to do my bit by eating downtown

        Recovery in the dust zone is still a little spotty, so patriotic pilgrimages are welcome. But the town's culinary troops are already bivouacked at The Harrison, the brave front established just north of ground zero by the guys from Red Cat. You'll have to pull strings or book far ahead to join the good-looking patriots eating crusty sweetbreads saltimbocca and grilled Arctic char in a pool of red-wine sauce in the coziness that already makes the room feel like a local hangout. Tonight the hulking pork chop is definitely too dry, and an itsy portion of cavatelli with veal cheek barely fills the Road Food Warrior's own cheek. But it's early yet. The kitchen's getting the feel of the neighborhood. The welcome is huge; the wait staff, well-drilled. And the pumpkin tart veers triumphantly into delicate creaminess.

The Harrison 355 Greenwich Street, 212 274 9310
Cafe Fiorello

Providing a continuous lifeline to homebound elderly New Yorkers