Thursday, July 28, 2011
July 25, 2011 Issue
Reading Nick Paumgarten’s wonderful “Tables For Two” piece about Danji in this week’s issue of the magazine, I recall with pleasure some of his other great “Tables For Two” columns, e.g., his review of Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden (“Maybe our graveyards should be beer gardens”) (The New Yorker, May 15, 2006), of Max Brenner (“omelettes as big as handbags”) (The New Yorker, December 11, 2006), of Hotel Griffou (“but a few rounds proved that these drinks were not girly”) (The New Yorker, August 31, 2009), and, above all, of Tony Luke’s (“and soon you find yourself pushing the thing into your mouth like a log into a chipper”) (The New Yorker, April 11, 2005). Paumgarten has written fifty-six “Tables For Two” columns since 2001, when he started doing them. They’re all terrific – where “terrific” means sharp, witty, conversational, casually elegant, delicious. His column this week about Danji contains this inspired line: “A spoonful of jjigae, tart and bubbling like some kind of witch’s brew, was accompanied by the sight, out the window, of Hell’s Kitchen flotsam blowing sideways in a squall”). Someday, I hope Paumgarten collects his “Table For Two” pieces in a book. Actually, I’d welcome a collection of all his New Yorker writings. Until that day comes, I’ll continue to make my own collection, clipping the pieces from the magazine, now and then rereading them, savoring the writing, imagining a tasty foot-long Philly cheesesteak disappearing into my chipper.