BITE will keep you in touch with what I’m eating and what I love and what I left on my plate. I’ll share dialogues I have with heroes and divas, princes and barracudas and what I overhear from the next table. Not every day will I have a meal worth writing about, I suspect, not good enough, not bad enough. Dear friends have asked me if I could try to be meaner so I fit in better on the net. I intend to try. As any man who has lived with me will tell you, I was born to be a critic. Of course, isn’t it the critic who has the thinnest skin of all? I must admit to a certain anxiety. It’s been a long time since I wrote without an editor, a fact checker and a copy-reader to catch my errors, misspellings and typos. I apologize in advance. I’m left-handed and that can sometimes be confusing. I might have stopped reviewing restaurants twenty-five years ago when my first novel, Blue Skies, No Candy lingered on the best seller list. But I am addicted to instant gratification. So I’m still here. On my death bed, I am sure my last words will echo those of the sister of Brillat Savarin:
“Bring on dessert.”
April 20, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
“I want to explain our concept,” the waitress begins cheerfully. I brace myself. I’m losing my sense of humor. At least the hostess seated me without an argument when I arrived ahead of my party.
April 13, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Blue Hill @Stone Barns
I think I knew something messianic was afoot, but it didn’t sink in that my friends and I were signing on for a three and a half hour immersion in nature…
April 7, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
The usual display of discipline vanishes with the landing of olives and the house’s fabulous blowsy flat bread like a stretched-out pita…
March 31, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
But just say Harlem and they’re in...
March 24, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Indeed, it’s only a few weeks into its quiet opening, but not too soon to be excited by what I’ve tasted…
March 17, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
The River Café
I‘ve never lost the shiver of thrill I get from the diamond-filigree of bridge and skyline across the East River, or the rush over floral exuberance, of roses in every color and forsythia exploding in winter from concrete floors as the tide churns below…
March 3, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Yes, the lace curtains are charming…
February 24, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
The Shrine of Masa
The mingle of sweet and salt and fat is powerful. You lick it slowly from the small black wooden spoon…
February 17, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Rafele: Neapolitan First
“Well, of course I am Italian,” the good-looking young chef begins. “But like Sophia Loren said: First I am Neapolitan“...
February 10, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Scotch egg. Spotted Dick. Welsh rarebit...
February 3, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Upper East Side friends, always complaining about cuisinary neglect, seem to need an indulgence...
January 27, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
Empire, It's a Diner
Were we waiting for this? I guess. It's a diner...
January 20, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
My 2013 Bests
In 45 years as a restaurant critic, I’ve never thought any spot too tiny, too special to share...
January 13, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
M. Wells Steakhouse
Sure, we knew the meatery was set up in an old auto body shop. We just didn’t imagine it would look like an old auto body shop.
January 6, 2014 | BITE: My Journal
The Writing Room
Don’t go looking for insult or affirmation, this isn’t Elaine’s and it ain’t ever gonna be…
December 23, 2013 | BITE: My Journal
Count Me 40 Twice
I decided I would organize my own celebration while I was still around to attend, to brave the roasts, to giggle at the exposure of my frailties and to make sure the grilled cheese canapés were rich and drippy...
December 16, 2013 | BITE: My Journal
We are dabbling in small plates that first dinner when suddenly we enter a tilt zone…
December 15, 2013 | BITE: My Journal
Feeding the Folks
Ask for a table veiled with white curtains and explore the vegetarian menu of chef Hemant Mathur…
December 9, 2013 | BITE: My Journal
Think of the pedigree here, after all: Harvard scholar, Retail Princess, nearly twenty years as the marketing right hand of Daniel Boulud…