People Trying to Suss Out Food Writers’ Coyly Mentioned Go-to Restaurants

Bittman: not telling.
Bittman: not telling. Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Last week, Mark Bittman wrote about the simple pleasures of unfussy restaurants in the Times, shouting out (but not naming) his absolute favorite Japanese “hole in the wall” in midtown with superb ramen, a dreamy place with “no celebrity chef, no publicity, no hipness.” And now, naturally, the sleuths at Midtown Lunch have been deciphering Bittman’s food clues in an attempt to blow up his secret spot. Similarly, Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport is a regular at a low-key, unnamed West Village spot. Sometimes you want to go where Franco the bartender knows your name, bread is served on doilies, the chicken francese is time-capsule perfect, and shrimp cocktail comes with oyster crackers, he argues, but he won’t tell you his special restaurant’s name. Where is that one exactly, and more important, what restaurant would you recommend to the world without identifying by name? [BA, Midtown Lunch]