Alex Massie

All the News that’s Fit to Eat

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Not content with one hazardous business enterprise right now, apparently Rolling Stone is going into the restaurant business. God knows why. Anyway, this allows Slate to imagine what might happen if other magazines decided to open their own restaurant. Thus...

New Yorker Cafe: Although this beloved eatery professes familiarity with international cuisine, it's best to stick with the dry, witty takes on American classics, which tend to provoke thin smiles of recognition, if rarely outright delight. If they're out of the Anthony Lane crab cakes, the David Denbyburger is an adequate second choice—while bland, it is easily enlivened with artisanal ketchup. After the meal, patrons may join Adam Gopnik for a four-hour conversation with the chef or watch Bill Buford butcher a free-range hog. Don't be ashamed if you can't finish your dinner—the take-home bags are the sort you'd be proud to carry on the subway.

And, not least because I've plenty of friends who work, or have worked, for Reason, I enjoyed this too:

Reason Restaurant: This no-frills spot encourages diners to bring their own food or buy meals off other patrons. If you do use the menu, take care not to order the same thing as your friend—the brusque waiters may dismiss you as a "second-hander." The kitchen's philosophy is appealing if ultimately incoherent, relying heavily on absinthe, hemp, and foie gras. Desserts are a specialty: Order one of the famous gingerbread houses "eminent-domain style" and a waiter dressed as Uncle Sam will whisk it away just as your children start to dig in. They'll go home crying, but they'll have learned a valuable lesson about tyranny. Smokers welcome.

Unaccountably, Slate forgot to mention that everyone at Reason Restaurant is armed...

So, dear reader, it's with an obvious sense of trepidation that I invite you to submit ideas for a Spectator-themed restaurant... The best suggestion will win the usual*, glorious, prize.

*That is, entirely imaginary.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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