Frank Bruni’s Last Supper, you ask? Hardly. But Mr. Bruni, chief food critic for the New York Times,
was kind enough to share some of his favorite firsts and lasts with us
folks here at Yelp NYC. Herewith, the complete interview, a.k.a. Frank Bruni on the light in Tribeca,
tax-deductible chairs, and why not even working for the Times can get
you in with David Chang.
If today were your last day in New
York (and you could never return) what three local spots or businesses
would you visit? (i.e. Central Park, MoMA, Brooklyn Bridge
Yikes. That’s tough. I love Central Park. I really do. So
I’d take a walk across the 72nd Street transverse, if I’m even naming
that correctly, and turn north toward that wonderful viewing point
over that big lake. I might haul myself up to the Cloisters. I love that
too. And a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I guess this would have to
be a summer day. Not enough light in January to get all of this
And what would you want for your last
answered this once before, and can only hope I’m being consistent
here. A really great porterhouse steak would be in serious contention. With a really great gin martini. I wouldn’t mind some sort of
knock-out pasta or risotto dish to start.
Does Frank Bruni ever have to wait in
line? If so where was the last place you stood in a ridiculous line?
course: all the time. Are you kidding? I wait in line at restaurants
when the table isn’t ready, at restaurants that don’t take
reservations. A long, long, long wait? That would have to be the Social Security Office. I needed a replacement card. After 40 minutes,
I realized I wasn’t even getting close to my time at the window,
because of the ticket number I had. I joked to a woman with a much
lower, better ticket number that I’d give her $20 for hers. She took
me seriously. I bought her ticket. This was a few months ago.I think
she’s still over there, waiting.
And in a similar vein, where was the
last place you couldn’t get a reservation?
places. I’ve been dependent on the strenuous computer efforts of
friends to get into Momofuku Ko. I wanted to go to Elettaria the other
night; the restaurant had nothing after 6:15, and I couldn’t eat that
early that night. I don’t use my name for reservations or announce
myself on the phone. I go through the same reservation process anyone
When and where was the last time you
were out partying until 4am?
so not going to answer this one. Let’s just say, for the record, I am
always in bed by midnight, reading M.F.K. Fisher or Michael
Which New York neighborhood leaves a
lasting impression on you and why?
many do. There’s something about the width and angle of streets and
the quality of light in TriBeCa that I love. There’s a particular
beauty to Brooklyn Heights that’s so elegant and romantic: I feel like
I can see Cher kicking that can down the street in that early-morning
scene from "Moonstruck." I like the East Village‘s scruffy
glee. The list goes on.
Last great book you read and where did
you buy it – or enjoy it?
just finishing my friend Sarah Lyall’s book "The Anglo Files: A
Field Guide to the British." It’s being published in a few
months, so I didn’t buy it —- her editor was sweet enough to have a
small party for her when she was in town recently (she lives in
London) and to hand out galleys to her friends. It’s very funny. The
chapter on the way Brits talk about sex is classic.
Last time you bought something really
outrageous (expensive or just plain weird) and where’d you find
drawing a total blank, but there must be something. Huh. I
fairly recently spent a sum I won’t admit to on this green mesh
ergonomic chair that’s supposed to — I don’t know — realign my
spine or achieve world peace or something. But since it’s stationed at
my home computer and I work more at home than at the office, it’s
Last thing you would ever eat? (ie:
hot dog from a street vendor, etc?)
Insects. They factor into some cuisines. I do not think
they will factor into any of my meals. Last meal you ate outside of New York
where you said "I wish we had that"?
Three meals in recent months: O Ya in Boston; Ubuntu in
Napa, Calif.; Cochon in New Orleans. Last time you dreamed about food – or
do you? – and what was it?
never remember my dreams. I’m deprived that way.
Last experience that made you think:
"God, I love New York"?
was warm enough to take a run around the Central Park Reservoir the
other day. During that run you get a 360-degree view of the city from
the very center of it, over water and trees. I loved New York during
every minute of that run. But then I love New York just walking to my
local bakery, because you get to see and smile at and wonder at people
in a way residents of car-centric cities don’t.