So, Craigie on Main is open again tonight with a $39 special -- one better than a .38 special, for sure. It's interesting that placees that I know of that are open are neighborhood focused* (COM, Northern Spy in NYC), while the places that are shut, (too many to name) are not, by and large. It's not as if the Spies or Maws' guys are foraging lichen in the snow for tonight's meal, but it does raise a question about restaurants that is broader. We've all been talking for a long time about food miles, and foodsheds, etc. True enough, but this food does not a) cook itself or b) eat itself. If we care about sustainability (a strong maybe, maybe?), it seems worth it to add where cooks and servers come from, and how they get to the restaurant, and where customers come from, and how they get to the restaurant.
A restaurant that's not snowed in today got me thinking about this back in December. At my last meal at Husk, it seemed as if a large proportion of the patrons were eating there either as their first stop after getting off an airplane, or their last stop before getting on an airplane (there was luggage to be wrangled in the foyer). I like Sean Brock's food, and I'm glad the restaurant is successful, and is getting the buzz it warrants. However, given Brock's local focus, it's ironic that the equation has shifted from flying the food to the people to flying the people to the food. I guess what I'm trying to say is, Hold On Loosely:*Yes, COM is expensive, and NS ain't cheap, but then, they're located in pretty pricey neighborhoods. Indeed, the great thing about the $39 special is that it gives a chance for folks who are within walking/mushing/XC distance to eat in a non-birthday/anniversary moment.