Presented without comment.
…at least, a grownup in New York City: you send emails back and forth for months planning when to meet; and one of you is going away and the other can only meet on Thursdays; then you finally eke out ten minutes somewhere between the two of you; then one of you has to reschedule with profuse apologies; then another three weeks pass; then finally - finally! - you meet somewhere mutually convenient, and you think, why don’t we see each other all the time? This is enriching and fun and the point of life! and you say you’ll meet sooner next time and mean it; and then you go home and another year has passed, and that is a friendship.
Last night, before attending the New York Review of Books’ fiftieth birthday kickoff at Town Hall, I had dinner at La Bonne Soupe.
As anyone who has dined with me knows, this is one of my favorite places in the world. It is always the right answer: reliable, cozy, unpretentious, and cheerful. It is also a good place to know in midtown, and good for kids and those with conservative palates, and fun for groups and, most of all, perfect for dining alone. For starters, there are always lots of solo diners so one needn’t feel remotely self-conscious. Then too, the scale of the small downstairs tables is perfectly suited to those eating alone. And there is something so eminently civilized about treating oneself to the Soupe Menu, which consists of a bowl of soup (I like the Creme Andalouse or, in frigid weather, French Onion); a small green salad with their mustardy vinaigrette; plenty of crusty baguette; a glass of house wine; and a small pot of chocolate mousse.
If you are feeling convivial, you can easily strike up conversations with neighboring diners. But you need not. You won’t feel rushed; you’ll feel comforted and cared for by yourself and others and I don’t know what’s better than that. A perfect evening is a movie at the Paris (in the balcony) and then just this menu - although I also love the croque monsieur and there are few things more delightful than sharing a pot of cheese fondue.
(I heard Daniel Craig was at the NYRB thing, but didn’t see him. I did see Rachel Weisz.)