Michael Wolff on New York City Dining

Michael Wolff opines on the dining scene in New York City for the British GQ. As the commenters note, it’s not clear whether this is meant as parody:

Of course the ultimate status is not to know someone, but to be known, for the restaurant to want you. This is naturally true for all celebrities, but this is also often true for people merely associated with celebrities. I once had a breakfast meeting at one of the new breakfast places in my neighbourhood with someone of reasonable renown, and now can no longer return because of the unctuousness and obsequiousness and close-in touching with which I am greeted.

It must be said, finally, that there is little pleasure in restaurants of the new restaurant culture. The experience may seem precious, because it might so easily be lost, or necessary, because there is no other alternative, and beyond questioning, because the world is as it is, but on any purely empirical basis it is gruelling time served.

Only in the most expensive, ritualised and ceremonial establishments (we’re talking thousands per table) is there any attention to physical comfort and the basic science of acoustics. This is not only because the people in these restaurants are very rich, but also because they are very old. One of the points about restaurants is to feel young, or to be among the young, or, that is, the right young – the young who can afford expensive restaurants, albeit not as expensive as the restaurants for the very old and rich. (Almost everybody on the Upper East Side, where, in New York, the expensive and quiet restaurants are located, now travels great distances to eat among the young and loud.)

Entertaining, to say the least.

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(via Tyler Cowen)

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