Anyone out to eat lately has probably noticed that some restaurants are doing just fine in this economic downturn while others are losing streams of customers as they desperately roll out one recession special after another. While places like the Momofukus, the Spuntinos, Ippudo, and L'Artusi (to name a few) enjoy hour long waits, pricier places are feeling the pinch. But Frank Bruni, who eats out as much as anyone and at a number of disparate places thinks it's not just about the price:
"You show me a restaurant that does consistently bonkers business in good times — or one that’s doing just fine in these bad times — and I’ll show you a restaurant that has been plotted and fashioned with a real understanding of its zip code: of who lives there; who travels there; and what the general aesthetics, spirit and even mythology of the particular neighborhood, block, avenue or even street corner is...
...Fiamma was trying to make it in an odd no man’s land of sorts: a spot too far west to belong fully to SoHo, which in any case isn’t home to many restaurants of Fiamma’s three-star prices and shimmer, and too far north to belong fully to TriBeCa, where it might have made more sense...Frank, not afraid to get real with you restaurateurs.
...This point is of course an obvious one, but it’s going to be underscored time and again, in sad ways, as restaurants in this city struggle through a brutal winter — and a spring that doesn’t promise to be much better."
· This Winter’s Cold Truths [Diner's Journal]
· All Eater Dealfeeds [~E~]