You never dine alone in New York. There may be a single place setting, one napkin, a solitary fork trailing through the rustic berry crumble, but there is always a ghost next to you at the table. It’s a small city of infinite souls, constantly writing, erasing and rescribbling its history on top of itself.
As you take a bite of grass-fed steak tartare, you think to yourself, Didn’t this restaurant used to be called something else? I think that’s the chef who worked downtown at . . . where was that? I could have sworn this used to be the bar where . . . remember? Remember?
The details fade. The addresses change. The names get hazy. For two all-too-brief decades, self-appointed restaurant critic Seymour Britchky made it his mission to capture it all in shockingly astute, hilarious, quotable prose before disappearing in his own right to become one of the city’s best-fed (and, essentially, forgotten) ghosts.
Read “Suddenly Seymour Disappeared” at Tasting Table.
On the sad news of the passing of chef Roger Fessaguet, 82, much mention is being made of his career at the marvelous (and also dearly departed) La Caravelle. I did not dine there during his tenure (what with the rather young-being at the time), but certainly felt his legacy when I did so in 2002.
But La Caravelle wasn’t Fessaguet’s only venue. As noted in his New York Times obituary, “In 1967, he became an owner of Le Poulailler, a restaurant near the recently opened Lincoln Center. He and his partners sold it in 1981.”
It is my pleasure to announce a new inductee: Marina O’Loughlin on Hotel Chantelle (Post updated 12/15/15)
Previous inductees include:
Pete Wells’ on Javelina
Chris Nuttall-Smith on America at the Trump Hotel
Pete Wells on Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square
Seymour Britchky on Luchow’s and Joe’s Pier 52
Frank Bruni on Ninja and again on Kobe Club
Eddie Huang on Lavo
Sam Sifton on Lavo
AA Gill on L’Ami Louis