Dined at Lutèce on Thursday, Bonnie's Grill last night. Guess which was better. (For an overly-long description of my Lutèce dinner, see the Manhattan board.)
Well, hard to say "better" exactly, but we certainly enjoyed Bonnie's more. It was our first time, though we live in the neighborhood. We sat at the counter, the only place available, and that was half the fun. Anthony (Bonnie) is marvellous to watch. Never have I seen someone cooking fries with more intense concentration. Then he wrapped his arms around a huge stainless bowl of chicken wings in a Buffalo-wing embrace, sauced it, grimaced, and gave it a huge sauté-style toss--wings came jumping up. Watching someone who enjoyed his work so much and took it so seriously was a revelation--it all seemed to be a matter of the deepest gravity, and beads of sweat flew off Anthony's face.
It shows in the food. We kept it simple, small order of Buffalo wings to start (mild, which were perfectly spicy, though blisteringly hot). The best I've ever had, no contest. I had beef on weck, Thierry had pulled pork. Both were very very compelling. So flavorful. Delicious. And those fries--absolutely the best I've had in New York. Big glasses of Brooklyn lager and weisse beer. If I had one teeny tiny criticism, it would be that I missed the horseradish element in the beef on weck. Maybe it was there, but the beef is so flavorful that it must have gotten lost.
But altogether, a really great place, and fun to boot. After we ate, we revealed ourselves as chowhounds, and Anthony was thrilled to talk about chowhound.com. I'm glad for the Buffalo-wing blister I still have on the roof of my mouth, since it brings me back to the experience. Thanks, Anthony! And thank you Eberhard Müller, for providing well-timed contrast...