Last weekend we had brunch at Diner, a place that has been there forever (well, this particular version of it since 1998)--and looks it--in Williamsburg. It just maybe, maybe, maybe could become our new Florent, which was my all-time favorite place to go in New York City, bar none.
Florent was the brainchild of Florent Morellet a truly extraordinary Frenchman who treated the restaurant as his off-beat, all hours, whatever you want to wear kind of dinner party. Any time of day or night you could go to Florent and see people in tuxedos and in the grungiest of sloppy street clothes. There were actors, business people, out of work hangers-on, lovers, transvestites, you name it. And every Bastille Day, Florent himself would dress up as Marie Antoinette. Don't ask. It was remarkable.
The menu was inventive and the food delicious. I loved the way the waiter would explain the specials, then write down one key word for each of them, so that when he left you could remember what he said.
Everything, that is, except for Diner.
And in a Diner like this one, conversation flows. People feel at ease. No airs. No pretense. Just great food and people with whom you want to have a lively, interactive talkfest.