I finished reading Kitchen Confidential only a few days before going to New York and as a result had Les Halles as one of the things I had to see when I got there. See being the operative word in that sentence as I wouldnt be the biggest fan of steak and having once bought the Les Halles Cookbook didnt expect there would be too much for me to eat there. So much like passing the NYSE and praying for my shares to rise in value, the WTC site and Macys, Les Halles was on my list to see.
On my first morning in New York I woke really early and as the morning looked clear I went off to downtown Manhattan and took the ferry over to Staten Island to take some photos. Afterwards I had a bit of a wander around popping into churches and taking photos of tall buildings.
Theres something weird about visiting places you read about in books and see in movies and New York was like that for me. Every corner I turned around I felt like I was being secretly filmed for a tv show. So when I turned a corner and bumped into a tv crew filming Ugly Betty I felt like I had seen everything I needed to see in New York. I also felt exhausted and starved so finding out I was around the corner from Les Halles just felt magical.
Look at that chicken sandwich and chips - nom. All I could think of was the big vat of sourdough starter he writes about in his first book and all the effort that they put into getting the perfect chips. I almost licked my plate.
If you are in New York its worth the visit, there are 2 of them and Mr. Bourdain when he is around is normally in the Park Avenue one (according to my waiter he is now writing another book so not around much). Its nigh on impossible to get dinner reservations anywhere decent but a lot of places are open at lunch (with much cheaper menus) or early dinner and if you are anywhere near the World Trade Centre site and have read any of Bourdains books then this is not a bad place to stop.