Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Here's an unexpected restaurant correspondence I just discovered. Back in March, when Nate was visiting for Shostakovich's The Nose at the Met Opera, we'd killed some time at a snazzy Belgian beer bar on the Upper East Side, which we'd wandered into at random right after (I think) seeing the Whitney Biennial, classy art-lovin' folks we are. Nice place, a little pricey; I want to say '40s vocal jazz playing on the speakers? We split some delicious frites with the good kind of mayonnaise. Nate talked a lot about some book he'd read about the early development of the Atari home video game system.

Anyway, apparently that place is owned by the same guy who owns the beloved dive bar Rudy's up here in New Haven. None of you have been to it, but essentially it's not the first place you'd suspect to be a sister endeavor with a high-end Belgian beer bar on the Upper East Side. Although apparently Rudy's is known for its frites, which would have been a tip. And a good thing to know! I've missed out on delicious frites.

The news that indirectly revealed this minor discovery is that Rudy's is relocating to the bourge-ier environs of Chapel Street in a couple of months. (Yes, I've lived here four years now, and I'm still only picking up know-how on bar-food basics by reading the local independent press.) The owner says he's expanding a restaurant area but is keeping the general feeling of the longstanding original Rudy's. I'll go ahead and reveal my colors: I'd rather see him just turn it into a high-end Belgian beer bar. Gentrify it! You know you want to!

Whatever the case, frites will definitely be on the docket come fall. With the good kind of mayonnaise.


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