Culinary time travel on the menu at NY restaurants

Fri Dec 5, 2008 5:41am EST
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By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Vegetarians, you can stop reading now.

More than a dozen New York restaurants are launching a two-month program whose goal is to get New Yorkers to consider types of food that have gone out of favor -- beef hearts and livers, green turtle soup, even blood sauces.

The Vintage Diner Series of prix-fixe meals and drinks, prepared and presented in a 19th century style and using ingredients typical to the period, starts in January.

"This is designed to get creative juices going," said Tim Zagat, publisher of the Zagat restaurant surveys and promoter of the program.

Promoters hope to change some New Yorkers' food habits. If diners at high-end restaurants embrace the idea, it could trickle down during tough economic times, as more New Yorkers embrace cheaper cuts of beef, lamb, pork, and veal.

Zagat said high-end New York restaurants are full of diners despite the recession, but many customers are spending less.

"They are not going to be as profitable because nobody's buying $500 bottles of wine, but one of the important parts of this (program) is there are lots of cuts of meat that have not been used for a long time, and they are delicious," Zagat told Reuters.

HEARTY FARE   Continued...

<p>A chef prepares food for the opening of a restaurant in New York January 5, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford</p>