I had big plans for last night's U.S. Open. Not just to watch Serena Williams (who has the fastest, hardest serve you've ever seen but who lost anyway), but to eat at the food court that I'd heard so much about. Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens now has Maine lobster rolls that got a big rave on a New York Times blog and a specialty cocktail created by mixologist Nick Mautone that seems to involve Grey Goose vodka and honeydew melon. But I made a strategic mistake. Before heading out to the Open, I stopped at Resto, the excellent Belgian restaurant in Manhattan's East 20s, and loaded up on the little fried meatballs known as bitter ballen, as well as pork toasts (as good as they sound) and what I think are the best frites in the city, especially because they're served with a sublimely tangy lime pickle mayonnaise, all paired with some pretty wonderful Belgian beer. So by the time I got to the stadium, there just wasn't much room for cocktails or the lobster roll—which I never saw anyway. Full disclosure #1: I did manage, several hours later, to eat a perfectly fine hot dog when it became apparent that the Rafael Nadal-David Ferrer match was going to go on all night, not to mention downing plenty of stadium beer. Full disclosure #2: One of the reasons I went to Resto in the first place is because my friend, Resto owner Christian Pappanicholas, had the Open tickets. But now that I know you're allowed to bring food into the stadium (in a not very big bag, and without alcohol), I would urge Resto to prepare a picnic dinner for the 2008 Open because that's the kind of food I want to eat when I'm watching a good game of tennis.
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