Magazine article The New Yorker

Convivio

Magazine article The New Yorker

Convivio

Article excerpt

Tudor City is an odd part of town, a puzzle of dead ends. Convivio, at the heart of it, replicates its screwy feng shui. If you walk in and feel confused--by the cramped, half-hidden bar, by the fact that it's no longer L'Impero, by the narrow path to the trio of steely hostesses who may acknowledge your reservation but who, after an hour, fail to honor it (actual remark, in response to a fifth how-does-it-look prompt: "I thought I'd seated you already")--you may think that you are in a restaurant-anxiety dream: mouths wide shut. But no. Convivio, once you're at a table, in a nifty swivel chair, and savoring a repentant round of hors d'ouevres (called sfizi here), is real, and dreamy, in the best sense of the word. An attentive but laid-back waitress who looks a bit like Jennifer Connelly dispenses unassailable recommendations, and before long you are eating exotic animal parts and exquisite pastas that live up to all the avid things your dinner companions have heard about them, and about their maker, the chef Michael White.

As usual, the application of the delicate to the brutish elevates the experience of dining on ultra-lipids. …

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