- Florent [✜]
Bruni has a wonderful reminiscence of Florent, and by extension downtown and New York before it was all business class. I first went to Florent in the late 80s, probably after a night downtown. When we moved to Hudson Square (nobody called it that then) in '89, Florent was a frequent dinner or breakfast choice. It wasn't exactly nearby, but everything west of Greenwich felt like the same neighborhood.
I spent most of the '90s tending bar on Spring Street, and after a good night, we'd head to Florent for breakfast - usually around 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, sometimes later, rarely earlier. After mediocre nights, we'd hit the Waverly Restaurant for cheap eats, but whenever possible, it was to Florent for steak and eggs (and more drinks). (After slow Sunday shifts, I'd usually hit Blue Ribbon and spend my shift pay with Alonzo at the raw bar, but that's a different story.)
Hetero, homo or trans, Gansevoort has been over for close to a decade now (ditto "Hudson Square", or that part of Spring west of Hudson). And no, its not the fault of Sex and the City - that was but one symptom, never the cause. I really hope that Florent got a good settlement out of his landlord.