Tocqueville, in New York's Union Square area, is not a prominent restaurant. It's reasonably well known and held in fairly high regard. "Oh yeah, I like that place," people say, and then probably change the subject.
It's moving. Not far, just a couple of doors down, to a radically different space. The bright, open, old Tocqueville is being replaced by a grander, more austere, more buttoned-up windowless Tocqueville. It's not moving for another few weeks, but the owners threw a preview party, and everyone came (except for you, if you weren't there — and you were missed).
Several of us marveled at the fact that the entire New York food-writing scene saw fit to go to the same place, merely to see the new space of a medium-important restaurant (Apparently interior design people were there, too, but I don't know them, except for Tara Mastrelli and Stacy Shoemaker Rauen from Hospitality Design). We surmised that there must not have been any other parties going on that night.
It was a fun party, with not much food (the gas isn't on yet), but lots of wine. Food writers (and design writers too, it seems) are good at not getting sloppy-drunk, so the party didn't spiral into that strange place where parties sometimes spiral, although a couple of guys were making out on a banquette as I left.
Opinions about the new space were mixed. Some people loved it, some thought it looked shabby. I liked the Bordeaux.