Celebrity Settings

Is ‘WASP Cooking’ the Secret to a Successful Scene Restaurant?

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Capital New York and NPR take looks at “scene” restaurants in New York and Silicon Valley, respectively. First, Capital wants to know why restaurants with middling food nevertheless draw a celebrity clientele, and specifically asks, “What’s wrong with Kenmare?” — the Sevigny, Khan, and Campanaro production recently panned by the critics. The half-baked conclusion: In designing the menu, Campanaro didn’t adhere closely enough to the “WASP cooking” style that brings back “fond memories of summers spent at the beach club,” and instead of bringing in bigwigs, à la Michael’s or 21 Club, the clientele consists of “just the horde, the people you see everywhere. Extras.” Okay, but what about clubhouses that don’t resort to club food, like Indochine or Omen?

Meanwhile, NPR’s “Morning Edition” is a little kinder to deal-makers diner Buck’s, “one of the most important business venues in the country” for the Silicon Valley set. There’s a lot of talk about the kitsch (a painting of Roy Rogers, etc.) and the servers’ abrasive styles, and aside from the customer who wavers between pancakes and French toast, pretty much no mention of the food.

What’s Wrong With Kenmare? [Capital New York]
Checking A Tech Bellweather: Buck’s Restaurant [NPR]

Is ‘WASP Cooking’ the Secret to a Successful Scene Restaurant?