Dear Santa –
I've been a good little food writer this year, and tried hard not to be nasty in my observations about the New York dining scene. So, too, have I resisted mentioning that your Christmas pastries like Italian panettone and German stollen are dry as dust, and how nobody really likes fruitcake, either. In view of these facts, will you please grant my Christmas wishes, Kris Kringle? And, instead of milk and cookies, I promise to leave hot toddy and Cronuts by the fireplace.
• Will you please bring me and the city a few more quiet restaurants, where you can converse with your companions at normal volume, and don't have to shout to be heard?
• Can you please see that cooks on the line in restaurant kitchens across the city are paid a living wage and raise the hourly pay for fast-food workers, too?
• And while you're at it, declare a moratorium on national chain restaurants invading the city. I can tell by your girth that you're a fan of donuts, but don't we have enough Dunkin' Donuts already?
• Please cancel Top Chef. The formula has become so tiring, with the weepy talking head rehashes, the funny outfits and haircuts, the challenges to make sauces out of jelly beans, the sagacious celebrity chef judges who probably can't even remember how to boil a pan of water anymore.
• A better reason to cancel Top Chef is the flooding of the culinary job market with fake chefs who have scant qualifications other than having been on Top Chef. And then want to get 75 bucks out of you for a meal that looks way better than it tastes.
• Under the tree I'd also like to see more chefs who are aren't white guys. How about some women and people of color?
• And please, Santa, send us waitstaff who don't keep demanding affirmation from their customers, constantly pestering us with, "How did you like that?" and "Wasn't that good!" like needy children. Instead I'd like to hear a simple, "Is there anything I can get for you?"
• Can I ask for a few more lower-priced bottles on wine lists, especially from places such as Greece, Portugal, Australia, Croatia, and Chile, where I know bargain wines are still available. And I don't mind if they have screw caps or are poured from cartons.
And Santa could you and Mrs. Claus go on a diet? I'd love to see you come down the chimney next year dressed in a red jogging suit!
· All Posts by Sietsema [~ENY~]