THE UNDERGROUND GOURMET - Alternate-Side Dining

New York magazineJuly 6-19, 2020

THE UNDERGROUND GOURMET - Alternate-Side Dining
With the reopening of New York restaurants, all food is street food.

One of the last times the Underground Gourmet ate at a sidewalk café was at lunch last summer at Bar Pitti. It was a lovely June afternoon. The sky was a bright periwinkle blue, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and although the intelligent-looking dachshund seated next to us (whose name we learned was Rolo) kept staring at our rigatoni Pitti, he was otherwise the soul of propriety. Even the construction site set up about ten feet from our table and blocking the view of traffic on Sixth Avenue was on a quiet lunch break of its own. Then all hell broke loose. The construction crew materialized and a pair of Cat multi-terrain loaders suddenly engaged in a sort of monster-truck rally. Dust blew, engines roared, Rolo howled.

The next time we ate at a sidewalk café, we joked, we’d remember to bring hard hats, earplugs, dust masks, safety goggles, and dog biscuits. We reminisced about our Bar Pitti caper the other day as we sat unhard-hatted but abundantly masked and occasionally gloved at a table next to a Range Rover outside Corner Bistro, getting ready to tuck into our Bistro Burgers.

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July 6-19, 2020