February 13, 2007

I thought it was basically illegal to use cell phones in a restaurant kitchen. I’ve heard stories about sous chefs being fired for picking up calls mid service, and prep cooks’ Razr phones hitting the wall when executive chefs throw them in a rage. So imagine my surprise at dinner the other night in the Gramercy Park 'hood with my equally horrified friend Jen Leuzzi, who pens the excellent Snack blog at a restaurant called The House, when the head chef spent the entire night running back and forth to a storage area behind our table to check his messages. It wasn’t a huge disaster—two hard-working assistants were doing all the cooking anyway—but it was still shocking. The highlight might have been when the chef typed out a text message with one hand while passing a dish to the waiter with the other. Incidentally, the food at The House is quite good (especially a rich, satisfying lasagna made with a wild boar ragout), the wine list is nice and the wait staff is adorable. Still, I’m not sure I’ll go back. I can’t stand that the chef is a better texter than me.

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