Dear Grub Street,
I'm in New York on business for a little while and will have the opportunity to try a handful of restaurants while I'm here. What are some of the top spots in the city where the chef whose name is on the door is still in the kitchen? I've eaten at both Lupa and Otto, but I imagine Mr. Batali's clogs haven't graced either kitchen in some time (though the food and service at both were excellent, especially Frank behind the bar at Otto). It's not that I need to see a celebrity chef in person … I just want to try good food from good chefs who are still plying their trade. For example, my understanding is that Wylie Dufresne actually still works at wd-50 every day, and, as you recently mentioned in one post, Eric Ripert is always in the kitchen at Le Bernardin. Anywhere else?
Meet the Chef
We’re not much for coffee-table books, but the forthcoming My Last Supper is so shockingly weird, and shockingly good, that we would consider buying it. “What would your last meal be?” is a popular question for chefs, but the answers here are far better than you would expect. (Masa Takayama wants to cook for Orthodox Jews; Wylie Dufresne would eat vegetables “just to placate my mom.”)