Yesterday began in misery and ended in triumph. Lifethyme (organic shop on 6th at 8th street) has hot food and a great area upstairs to eat away and gaze at the Jefferson Market library tower. Organic ingredients used, usually herb-rubbed roasted chickens, yams, good greens. The chicken was way undercooked in the middle: pointed it out to a manager who explained that "Organic chicken is always pink inside." When I observed how salmonella enjoy living in undercooked poultry, the little boss offered to cook it longer in their upstairs kitchen. A refund was then offered but no effort or intent expressed to check their other birds. . . perhaps a subtle revenge by a vegetarian?
Florent for dinner. First a glance at a nearby French bistrot (corner of Little W. 12th St) - forgettable name, millions spent on tiles, fake nicotine stains rubbed into the ceiling and cliches adorning the awnings: "Vin du Pays" (If we are in New York City, does this imply a Alpes Marittimes du Staten Island Blanc?). As they serve burgers and pastas amidst French decor, it seems as though the Epcot concept has entrenched itself the meat-packing zone.
But Florent was excellent: fine Cote du Rhone red, perfectly fried catfish with buttery well-whipped potatoes, string beans fresh and cooked to perfection. Not so many French dishes but all well made. Noisy and crowded but so dependable.