This week’s food section is all about pressure: A pastry chef has to cook every night for a president who hates pineapples and will send him packing at the first hint of progressive dessert-making; Vinh Nguyen, a first generation Vietnamese-American, rolls the dice with his Williamsburg restaurant Silent H, and, as far as Rob and Robin are concerned, comes up lucky seven; Jeffrey Chodorow, fresh off his battle with Frank Bruni and Adam Platt, opens a big new restaurant and hopes for the best; and four new restaurants open, surely hoping for the best as well. Even this week’s In Season is rife with tension, calling as it does for a delicate filleting operation that could easily destroy a beautifully roasted flounder. The New York food world is not for the faint of heart.
• Williamsburg’s Silent H comes under the scrutiny of Rob and Robin, who like it a lot, both for its perfectly executed Vietnamese standards and its more creative dishes.
• R&R; also interview Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, who has to have his peaches inspected by government agents before they can go into a pie, and who has no desire to serve Sam Mason–style desserts to President Bush.
• Gael Greene paints a picture of a cautiously optimistic Jeffrey Chodorow, who feels that Wild Salmon, his new restaurant, might signal a change of fortune. The Insatiable Critic seems to like the place well enough.
• Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York may seem at first glance a strange choice to give fish-cooking advice, but his In Season recipe for flounder sounds as good, in its way, as steak – if you can get it properly filleted at the end.
• The husband and wife team of Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer, the authors of Cookshop and Five Points, have bought and are reopening Provence; three other appealing restaurants also come to town.