by Chris Onstad
It was too dark to take good, inobtrusive photos at the Ración pop-up I attended two weeks ago, which is a shame, because the care Anthony Cafiero puts into his food's visual appeal is nearly without equal in the city. Nevertheless, here's a bit of what I found on my camera the next day. (The iPhone's flash has the tendency to make moist things look like they've been surprised in a prison motel shower—yes, a motel that is actually inside a prison—which is rarely an appetizing scenario).
If it seems like I've been spending too much time with Cafiero lately, please allow me to explain. I find his outlier approach to food and hospitality intelligent, fully-formed, and genuine—this, coupled with his inexhaustible ability to talk about it in clear terms, makes for a great window into the restaurant world. He is, to me, clearly a chef to watch, because when he connects here, it's going to be a grand slam. (Read last week's post-dinner follow-up interview here, and the initial Cafiero interview here. )
More photos after the jump.