i've just got back from manhattan; i flew in and out, and though i didn't get out to queens, it was such joy to be once again in the city of sakagura, rinconcito peruano, phoenix gardens, charles southern kitchen, the mexican joints in harlem, menchanko tei, gramercy tavern, veritas ....
as jim's pointed out time and time again, ANYBODY can find gramercy tavern and veritas - but sakagura, charles, menchanko tei, rinconcinto peruano etc all require effort to sniff out; effort thats more than amply rewarded.
so endless discussions of gordon ramsay, marco pierre white, the connaught, zafferanos, club gascon, petrus - even india club - are missing the point, i think. every guide book has the execrable wagamama, and i'd have found borough market and neals yard given enough browsing in bookstores. what i wouldn't have found easily, if at all, is something like the lebanese pizza at green valley grocery, or the green papaya in hackney.
where are OUR charles, our sakaguras? theres a lot of miles between mohsen on warwick road and green papaya in hackney, and my challenge to you is to find and report back on these restuarants - not so well known, cooking with love and pride. c&r in rupert court makes it in my book, for example, but certainly not la trouvaille.