After another seemingly long absence, I was finally able to update my beau on some recent career changes. I suppose 10+ years on wall street doing bond sales can bring out a certain hardened characteristic better suited to a construction site or dockyard. Hidden behind a veil of ombre highlights and Christian Louboutin heels, my update included references to this scumbag and that douchebag or that fukkin’ guy… and so on and so forth. This all concluded with a toast to myself for landing an exciting new job with great future potential.
Words by: DineGirl
“You sound like such a barbarian”, he says. This coming from a guy who was a treasury trader for Salomon Brothers back in the early 90s – the epicenter and birth of modern barbarianism. Ok, I may sound like a barbarian, but I certainly don’t look like a barbarian, or more importantly do not dine like a barbarian for that matter. Or do I? A love for the finer things in life along with a side habit of curse words and dirty jokes may not be appropriate for Daniel or Le Bernadin, but not to despair. I have found that in most cities you can find a mix of restaurants where you can still be your well refined barbaric self, and not have to resort to guzzling beer like a frat boy with a college tee and baseball cap. After all, we are not savages.
DineGirl’s guide to Barbarian Dining:
1). Not all steakhouses are created equal.
Brash, abrasive service at NYC institution Peter Lugar is a definite yes, as is sports star heavy Prime 112 Miami. On the flip side, upper east side refinement at Post House is decidedly no. (Unless you’re looking to get kicked out of the co-op.)
2). Frill and fanfare are a good disguise.
Example : Duncan Quinn Burn’s night (LA, NY)
Tradition, bag pipes and the poetry of Robert Burns is also a celebration of scotch, scotch and more scotch.
3). Pig on the menu – huge yes.
Whole suckling pig dinner at the Breslin (yes), fancy beer hall vibe at Publican Chicago (yes), mediocre bbq on park avenue (no).
4). “Club Grub” isn’t what it used to be.
Gone are the days of cold $100 ravioli at Moomba. Like fruit flies to your corporate card, STK, Abe&Arthur, Catch, Lavo all offer surprisingly good fare in lively, fun, very loud, untz untzy, douchebag heavy environments.
5). Dungeon dining.
La Esquina, with an encyclopedic list of tequilas, tasty tacos and celeb sightings, you can park yourself in for the night.
Basic formula :
(great food + creative menu + lively atmosphere + unfussy service) divided by high polish minus frat boys = barbarian friendly.
While once in a while special occasions call for frou frou fancy foam and itty bitty morsels, it’s nice to know that there is an endless possibility of lively, tasty spots where you can dress to the nines, reveal your inner barbarian, and yet not raise a single eyebrow. Cheers to that!
The Complete Barbarian Dining Guide by Dine Girl Coming soon…
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