Simply Red, by Mark Rotella: a long, tasty feature on the joys and fate of what I think of as red checkered tablecloth joints, hands down my favorite endangered restaurant species.

From the article:

And for someone like me, an Italian-American in his 30’s who grew up with Italian food as the ultimate comfort food, the old-style Italian restaurants offer service and food that, while not innovative, always satisfies. In the old-fashioned Italian restaurants, what many call red sauce restaurants, I know I’ll get Old World treatment – if not old Italy, then definitely old New York.

At these family-run establishments, the waiters – almost always male – are typically dressed in black bow ties and crisp white shirts. Stepping into them is like stepping into the early 20th century, the height of Italian immigration to the United States.

Mmm, I miss ’em. There was one here in Seattle – over in Queen Anne, God I loved that place. I think it was called “Louie’s.”

I learned about the death of Princess Di there, one September. Got drunk with the layoff victims of my first tech bubble burst. Oh, it was a little bit of heaven, murky lighting, brick interior and cheap wine.

I miss ’em. East Coasters – you don’t know what you got ovah deyah. Mangia!*

(*my apologies for any language mangling involved in this post)