30 April 2009

My "Vo Door"

Le Veau d'Or dining room by Roxanna Bikadoroff

Le Veau d'Or - Before Bourdain

Le Veau d'Or - After Bourdain

Who else loves this place as much as we do? A. Bourdain

So said Anthony Bourdain to Michael Batterberry. If you'll fast forward to 4:15 on the video above you will witness Anthony Bourdain and Michael Batterberry go ape shit over my favorite NYC restaurant. The Gulf Foxtrot has always found the Veau d'Or, "a little worn." That's the point. Soul does not arrive via a concept or a chain...I don't care how good the food is. Nor does it arrive in the newly re-furbished Monkey Bar where an ersatz vibe is created to hoover money outta pockets. Throw in the Minetta Tavern and Freeman's playing pretend and you'll see the charm of the Veau d'Or. It's the real deal.

The groovers and shakers in this city don't know what to do with real because there's no one telling them what it is. Since they have no judgement of their own - - they can only listen to the drum beat that is the media or a review or a model - - telling them a place is, I truly detest this word, "awesome." It's how things work here.

So when Bourdain's new series, No Reservations, aired an episode called, "Disappearing Manhattan" the Veau d'Or got a massive thumbs up and a whole lot of new business. I suspect it will be busy for a while but eventually will get back to normal. I'm happy people will get to see the real thing and how it compares to a "theme" restaurant. In this world of bland white bread it's nice to see a place with soul get some applause. Even the Gulf Foxtrot is impressed. After watching the video she wants to go back...


Ben said...

Excellent little post. Isn't it great to be right?

And I agree with you (I repeat: isn't it great to be right). The real deal is the only deal for me. Nothing manufactured or fabricated or the result of a strategic branding meeting.

I could write a similar topic on tropical bars here in Honolulu (popularly known as "tiki" bars). Maybe I will.

M.Lane said...

Great post for a great place. I am glad that they are getting a lot of business. Whatever will Cathy do? Only two weeks to go!


tintin said...

Ben- It is good to be right. It's also good to have a special place you can go that no else knows. I'd love to see your posting on tiki bars.

M Lane- Cathy is very busy and Robert still has time to flirt. All is good. I may try the tripe.

Anonymous said...

"The groovers and shakers in this city don't know what to do with real because there's no one telling them what it is."

I like this pull quote of yours because we have a couple of really old school restaurants here that we go to like this. Okay, not as good. But so under-the-gourmand-radar that no one under a hundred goes there. Except us. And they dote on us like we just brought in the Fountain of Youth. There is no new money there.

I'm happy to go there because no on uses sauces anymore. Or veal. Or slices meat table side. And here's the best part: These places remind me of the scene in Vertigo when Jimmy Stuart takes Kim Novak to the steak house with the blood red walls and all that brocade and textures and patterns.

Rule of thumb: If people my age cringe at the place...I'm going there.


tintin said...

DB- I'm with you. There's a story about the Vo Door where a man who had been drinking at the bar was approached by an attractive woman who wanted to say hello. The man looked at her, sipped his drink and asked, "I'm sorry, but could you remind me where we met?" The woman shot back, "You should remember - - I was your second wife."

Zingiber said...

Absolutely terrific. Love this sort of food.

DCB said...

Wonderful. Too few and far between these days.

No doubt your fondness for Martin's in Georgetown springs from a similar place?

Old Ebbitt's on 15th - the back bar especially - can have a nice feel as well when the time and crowd and cocktail intake are correct.

tintin said...

Sarte and DCB- If you guys are ever in NYC let me know and we'll go to lunch. You'd love the place.

Ian Brown said...

I used to pass by Veau D'Or all the time when I was a salesman at Barney's. It looked like a funeral parlor on the outside! I'll have to give this place a visit soon.

Theodore Bouloukos said...

This spot is a favourite of mine too. Usually I detest seeing places I hold dear fetishized, for fear of encouraging some parvenu's patronage; but the allure would be lost on the average lemming, so there's little chance of that happening, thank the Almighty. I love, too, that I can smoke once the tables clear and few of us are left, but for the staff.