Thursday, June 10, 2010

Business is improving, chefs are growing more assertive

Brian Niemietz and Carla Spartos chronicle the return of the chef,

requesting vegetarian dishes at trendy steakhouse STK, there’s one thing that’s on the menu at many of the city’s best eateries: extreme pickiness.

“A lot of [people] think they’re experts, which they’re not,” says Le Pescadeux owner Chuck Perley of diners. He thinks the rising popularity of cable TV cooking shows is responsible for the escalation of demands from finicky New York City foodies. “There’s a night-and-day difference between now and when I opened in 1981.”

And chefs are increasingly refusing to indulge requests, even if it means losing customers