When I started Urban Corduroy I wasn’t exactly sure what its focus would be … and actually, I was completely comfortable with that … it made it exciting for me. I also knew that this would be a great avenue for me to further explore my passions as well as share them. With that, I write about restaurants not because I’m a food critic (or even close!) but because it was an area that stuck out to me … mostly because my friends and family often ask me “where should I eat for (fill in the occasion)?” To me, it is the sweetest form of flattery.
I didn’t arrive in NYC knowing who Mario Batali is or how to prepare ceviche. I would actually be fibbing if I told you I was familiar with the word foodie (while I’m not sure I love that term, I’ll go with it), and I know I’m not alone … it’s absolutely amazing the way food has become such a large part of the overall culture in New York, to the point where it’s the norm to be a “foodie.” What’s even more incredible, maybe even on the fence of insanity, is the amount of time people will wait for a table (think Mission Chinese), how much people will spend on a meal (I’ve been saving up for dinner at Brooklyn Fare for way too long now) and how often we talk about food (it doesn’t matter what we start talking about at dinner, we always end with food). For those who love food you can probably relate, and for those who enjoy going out for a meal without all the frills, I imagine you loathe the idea of a “foodie.” Regardless, if the ultimate result (meaning from the restaurant to the kitchen) of this niche culture expansion is that people are more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, I’m all for it.
I owe much of my food knowledge to two people: my mother, for making my sandwiches on whole wheat bread (even though I always begged for Wonder Bread) while endlessly pushing me over the years to be comfortable in the kitchen, plus she also took me to my first Hootie and the Blowfish concert; and one of my first and now best friends in NYC, Simon. Without them I’d still be a borderline vegetarian and broke from constantly ordering takeout. I still have so much to learn, so much to try and way too much to attempt at in the kitchen … hopefully Urban Corduroy will get me there.
Anyways, I went on this rant so to explain where my restaurant suggestions come from. They come from the texts, the emails and the gchats that look something like … “EMERGENCY my girlfriends birthday is tomorrow and I totally forgot, where can I get a reservation?” Or, “my parents are coming in town next week where should I go?” Or one of my favorites, “I have to plan the date tonight … he always picks a good spot … HELP!” I’m not sure when this started, or why I’ve been trusted, but I really love answering these. I find myself taking mental notes while I’m eating out … for instance, this would be perfect for x, y or z. You get the point.
Like many New Yorkers, I discover most restaurants by reading a ton … it’s funny how you can read about food almost anywhere now. I took a look at my history before I wrote this and it seems like these are the places I frequent: the Times Dining Section, Immaculate Infatuation, and like many others, I usually trust New York Magazine. And more than anything, almost five years later, I still go to Simon before I try any new restaurant … actually, him along with two of my restaurant PR gals are usually telling me where to go … maybe they should be writing this blog?!