Newspapers and magazines constantly publish stories about going to restaurants, but these four stories have been really interesting over the past couple of days.
1. Kid chef Greg Grossman failed to wow VIP guests... (New York Daily News): Greg Grossman is a 15-year-old chef, who prepared a 5-course menu for VIP guests at a pop up restaurant, using molecular gastronomy, inspired by famous artwork, in New York City. Oh, he also has a reality TV deal looming (though on hold now, apparently). Apparently the meal was not successful, evidenced by the fact that people actually returned their first courses. Grossman's mother said her son was not used to working with the catering staff.
2. Would You Pay $62,500 For a Dinner For Ten at Babbo? (Gothamist): New York City is sometimes a ridiculous and absurd place. At an auction benefiting a Brooklyn private school, someone put up a winning bid of $62,000 for a 7-course dinner and a chance to meet famed chef Mario Batali. By comparison, a public school on the Upper West Side put up a dinner for 6 at the impossible-to-get-into Rao's. Current leading bid: $1,000.
3. The Mission At a Restaurant Where the Obamas Dine (Washington Post): Apparently, most restaurants have very little notice before the First Family comes in for dinner (or lunch or snack). A member of the Secret Service will come scope out the place shortly before they come. Once the President or First Lady arrives, dozens of Secret Service people check out the restaurant. Fellow diners are searched and patted down, but then enjoy their meals around the First Family. The Obamas pay with credit cards and leave good (but not crazy tips).
4. The Crowded Restaurant Conundrum (Grub Street): The first in a series of columns about eating out. Writer Felix Salmon figures out why we endure long waits for tables, bad service and extravagant prices to go to good restaurants. The answer, in a word: status.