Magazine article The New Yorker

Beppe;

Magazine article The New Yorker

Beppe;

Article excerpt

45 E. 22nd St. (212-982-8422)--No New Yorker can ever be sure that the French bistro he loves is the best one in town, and even the patron of the currently trendy one-word restaurant knows that it will be replaced by another trendy one-word restaurant: Craft awaits its Cunning, which in time will meet its Doom. But every New Yorker's favorite Italian restaurant is the best Italian restaurant there has ever been. Partisans of 50 Carmine or one of Mario Batali's joints are as ferocious in their certainties as Republican attackwomen, and no Italian restaurant in New York has more fervent partisans than Beppe.

Cesare Casella, the owner and chef, greets visitors at the door, in his chef's whites, graced--in a note that first seems comic, then wonderful--by a nosegay of fresh herbs that pour out of his upper pocket. A generation ago, Marcella Hazan's Italian cookbooks tried to part a sea of red sauces by fancying things up, but Beppe's cooking is purely Franciscan: all for the barefoot, the countryish, the organic, and the sincerely voiced. …

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