Diners pay too much attention to branding, and too little to the guy actually doing the cooking. Case in point:
I tried much-lauded Sabatino's a few years ago, and found it just okay. I went back yesterday, and it was slamming (broccoli rabe and sausage pie). The chef was a young Central American kid, who didn't appear to be all that into it. But his work was magnificent, and, as we walked out he was sipping a soda at one of the tables, and he looked up with a sly grin and asked, sincerely, how we liked the pizza. We told him how awesome he is. He takes lots of pride.
Eventually he'll leave, and maybe the pizza will get better, and maybe worse. But it's always all about the chef. All the "brand" usually ensures is recipes and ingredients. But I want my whole to be much more than the sum of those parts. And that depends on the touch and care and skill of the chef. I'm real chefcentric.
Anyway, news: they have added garlic knots to the menu. They're GREAT.
And I'm wondering how the rest of the menu is. Anyone go through the non-pizza offerings yet? Or, for that matter, has anyone tried the somewhat forbidding seafood restaurant upstairs?
Sabatino's Coal Brick Oven & Cafe
101 Old Saw Mill River Rd, Hawthorne, NY 10532