If you’re a frequent visitor on the Chowhound Outer Boroughs board, then Alan Richman’s
story on the Brooklyn restaurant renaissance in the current issue of GQ won’t seem like big news to you. For everybody else, the piece offers a taste of local flavors, from dark and creamy Sixpoint Brownstone beer to the “superb” buffalo mozzarella at Frankies.
But after about five pages of gushing about Brooklyn restaurants and their devoted chefs, Richman takes a few swings at the restaurant scene across the river. He calls Manhattan’s mega-restaurants “little more than commercial food factories,” and he goes on to say:
Manhattan selects waiters on looks, Brooklyn on personality; Manhattan stands on ceremony, Brooklyn emphasizes warmth. As restaurants in Manhattan strain to pay odious rents, they increasingly rely on a business model that stresses size and repetition. Manhattan restaurants emulate Vegas not because they love the cuisine. They admire the economics.
Yikes. Now, truth be told, I’m definitely too Brooklyn-proud to offer a nonbiased opinion here, but I do prefer smaller, more intimate restaurants, and my favorite spots in Manhattan tend to be as warm and friendly as my Brooklyn go-to spots. But it would be interesting to hear from some non–New Yorkers who’ve hit up restaurants in both Manhattan and Brooklyn—which did you prefer?