October 3, 2005 2:16 AM | By Adam Roberts | 9 Comments

Oh, Deborah

You may smack me in the head and say "stop repeating yourself!" when I tell you my favorite place in New York to go a'wandering for dinner is the West Village. Specifically: Bleecker and Carmine. But you know that. I won't bore you.

So the other night we were a'wandering on Bleecker and we turned on Carmine. I saw the sign for "Deborah" and I thought to myself, "Hmmm, Deborah, I haven't been HERE yet."


Of course, there were blurbs and articles on the door so I knew I was in good hands. [See Via Emilia post for further explanation.] We were quickly seated near the front and a boisterous high-energy waitress began to recite all the menu changes and specials for the night. [OH MY GOD if you haven't read this Larry Doyle New Yorker piece do so now. It's hilarious.] She went on for a looong time and I finally asked how she memorized all that. "I ate everything I just described," she joked, "so it's easy to remember."

I liked her.

The menu at Deborah is exciting with weird mixes of ingredients and a nice mix of the bizarre and the comfortably familiar. My companion and I decided to share a beet salad to start:


This may surpass the Balthazar beet salad as my favorite beet salad of all time. The beets are warm, they're served with spinach and lots of secret hidden flavor bursts like walnuts, tangerine slices and bleu cheese. I greedily ate more than my half. And I'm not apologizing.

For my entree, I had [taken from menupages]: "Seared Alaskan Halibut 'en papillote': Herb infused, sweet mashed, carmelized brussel sprouts."


I loved every bite. That red sauce at the side was "very hot," said our waitress. I'm not sure why it was there but I enjoyed nervously dipping tiny corners of my halibut in it to see how hot it was. I think it was pretty hot.

So you know how our waitress was all over-the-top with her big personality? My dinner companion and I had a theory.

"I think she's Deborah," said my dinner companion who will now be known as Matthew K. Johnson.

"Oh ya?" I said. I supported this theory.

So when she came to clear our plates I popped the question. "Are you Deborah?"

She smiled. "No, no--Deborah's the spiky blonde in the kitchen." We looked. There she was.

"Well we like you," I said, "and we like Deborah."

"And we like you too," she said back.

This is my kind of restaurant. 4 Adam stars!


The link to the Larry Doyle New Yorker piece is not producing the expected result. Seems to be a parody of something this week. The food relatedness is zero.

Hey Wilson, try it now--it should be fixed!

try brunch here too. very yummy, gigantic portions, and killer bloody marys.

Man, that sounds really good. I remember passing it a few times and thinking it looked cute. And I like things "en papillote".

the Larry Doyle New Yorker piece was great. thanks!

Sooooo... more on "Matthew K Johnson" please?" I guess a risk of having a popular blog is that people start to think they know you, and that you're a celebrity of sorts, and that we have some sort of right to know all your bidnazzzzz......

Wonderful blog!
Thanks for the link, though for some reason it took me to a different article. Try this link. http://www.newyorker.com/shouts/content/articles/051003sh_shouts
-I have a friend named Deborah and will be letting her know of this.

The Larry Doyle piece was a yawn, and really just a take off on a piece David Sedaris wrote in one of his books a few years ago. Your blog, on the other hand, is great fun!

That Halibut looks absolutely delicious! I have always loved your blog.

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