I had dinner in my own neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn, for a change, but it was still work-related. I ate with the Rob Chobor, one of the owners of Black Pearl, which is located where an award-winning pizza place named Lento's used to be.
The big pizza oven's still intact, but Rob seemed more interested in having me try the appetizers, so I had Caribbean ribs with spicy mango duck sauce, mini Maine crab cakes with tartar sauce and baby octopus in port over microgreens.
The restaurant's been open for two and a half months, and Rob says business has been good, but now that it's slowing down he's trying to drum up press. With salad, pizza, sandwiches, signature risotto and the like, mostly in the $12-$15 range, it's certainly a neighborhood restaurant, not a destination one, especially since it's off of dowdy 7th Avenue — an Upper West Side colony — rather than hipper 5th.
And I wonder if press can really drum up business for a neighborhood restaurant.
Apropos of nothing, here are the two best quotes from the past day or so:
1) "Philadelphia's the capital of Camden."
– a Philadelphia restaurant consultant on why the city has a worse inferiority complex than Boston, capital of New England, with regard to New York.
2) "Your optimism about current developments always surprises me. I think you can sustain it only because of a teleological fallacy that Immanuel Wallerstein calls the 'developmentalist illusion.'"
– from an otherwise really polite discussion about globalization and food on the ListServ of the Association for the Study of Food and Society.