Barbecue, taco, pizza and hot dogs, New York style

This article is also published in the Financial Times. Nothing, I recall, ever made my wife and I as popular with our children when we were all living under one roof as the possibility of our all spending a few days in New York over the festive period. The charms of being in the city that goes out of its way to make retail therapy easier than any other were immediately obvious, regardless of age or whose name was actually on the credit card. Eating out was a further attraction,…






Good fun in downtown and uptown New York

This article is also published in the Financial Times As customers use restaurants for a variety of different purposes – to do business, to meet friends or even to propose marriage – so do those who work in them. Their most immediate end is, of course, financial, and I hear that, even before the extra-busy holiday season, waiters in London and New York are currently earning very good money. But there are more subliminal, more professional desires underlying career choices in the hospitality business, the most ambitious of which is…






Reservations – Manhattan’s latest blood sport

This article was also published in the Financial Times. Any trip to New York seems to reflect the increasingly important role restaurants play in our lives. This process began 20 years ago over lunch with Bryan Miller, then my counterpart at the New York Times. He astutely explained that the sheer volume of restaurants in the city was directly connected to the price of property. Only the wealthy could afford an apartment with a dining room. Those who couldn’t, met in bars, cafes and restaurants. This phenomenon has now spread…






Capital style in DC

This article was also published in the Financial Times.   José Andrés at Jaleo (pictured), Jamie Leeds at Hank’s Oyster Bar and Eric Ziebold at CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental hotel are three chefs in Washington DC united not just by their obvious culinary talent but also by a good sense of humour.  While the capital’s politicians seem devoid of this crucial human trait, with visits to the Capitol cancelled and so many entrances closed that it takes my political acquaintance there far longer to get to his desk, these…






From Copenhagen to La Paz

This article was also published in the Financial Times.   I have never yet devoted this column to a restaurant I have not previously eaten in. But such is my enthusiasm for the aspirations that lie behind Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia, which opened on 18 April and is already employing 30 young, marginalised Bolivians, that I trust I will be forgiven on this occasion. My interest in Gustu began over a plate of roast duck with sage and onion stuffing and a glass of Fontodi Chianti 2009 on the…






New York’s Calliope

This article was also published in the Financial Times.   Few of the restaurants that I have ever enjoyed have their origins quite as geographically widespread as those that underpin the charming Calliope on New York’s Lower East Side. Moreover, although Calliope opened less than a year ago and its owners, Eric and Ginevra Korsh (pictured below), are still only in their mid 30s, their restaurant has already managed to incorporate two generations of their family. I was welcomed into Calliope one Saturday morning at 11 am by Grace Korsh…






Heirloom Cafe – San Francisco

This article was also published in the Financial Times.   Dinner at the Heirloom Café in the Mission district of San Francisco left several strong impressions. The first was of our party of six, three Americans, two Brits and a Frenchman, sitting happily at one end of a large, wooden, communal table facing several bottles of what were to prove to be highly impressive California wines. The view of a room packed with other happy diners in what had formerly been a convenience store was equally pleasurable. There was the…






Mr Brooklyn?

This article was also published in the Financial Times. Walking 100 yards alongside restaurateur Andrew Tarlow, 42, on Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, between his café, Marlow & Sons, his Diner and his butcher’s, Marlow & Daughters, we bumped into his young female butcher carrying a tray of warm, sweet Italian sausages and his baker going home at the end of his nine-hour shift. Was there, I wondered, a candlestick maker involved, too? In fact, Tarlow and his obviously talented wife, Kate Huling, have not yet turned their attention to candles…






New York’s restaurants bounce back

This article was also published in the Financial Times.   No sooner had Mia Van Der Water, the petite sommelier atNorth End Grill in Battery Park, New York, poured our first glass of Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2010 (made by a Californian in New Zealand) than she explained with pride how soon this restaurant had managed to open after Hurricane Sandy. ‘Fortunately, we are on the Brooklyn electric grid across the water so we were closed for only two days. And we all wanted to reopen as soon as possible…






How to run Le Bernardin

We are delighted to publish this extract from Nick’s new bookThe Art of the Restaurateur, which featured on the cover of last week’s Economist, no less. It’s a series of profiles of 20 of the world’s leading restaurateurs (as opposed to chefs) together with concrete examples of how to run a successful restaurant. On Monday we’ll announce a special offer for those who’d like to order a copy of the book at a discounted price. Maguy Le Coze has been the smiling, authoritative and glamorous restaurateur behind the success of…