Friday, 3:30 A.M.:
I'll Have the Steak, Fries and Yada, Yada, Yada
For most of us, the meat district is two aisles away
from the eggs-and-milk district. Manhattan's meat district has bars,
a bagel shop and Florent, a sort of low-priced, high-toned, everyone-and-no-one
French diner. A trifling $13.50, my splendid flank steak in mustard
sauce with even more splendid french fries was the most expensive item
on the menu. In much of New York, $13.50 is a down payment on the parsley.
Florent is known for its jarring brick-red banquettes,
long hours, eclectic crowd and sense of humor. A helpful message board
behind the counter offered a list of nearby nightclubs and, at the end,
an option: "Or stay home and read to each other."
Ten of the tables were busy when we ordered. Our dining
companions included a man with a David Niven ascot and dreadlocks and
a couple of faux furs. His was a leopard vest. Next to us, a woman with
a sunburst tattoo on her wrist was in deep conversation with a man in
a leather jacket.
She looked up as two tall, slender, perfect women
and a tall, slender, perfect man walked in, all dressed in black. "Ugh,"
she said. "Models."