It took everything I had not to turn down the invite to go here for lunch. If it weren’t my boss doing the inviting, and his credit card doing the paying, I never would have stepped foot anywhere near anything that had something to do with Rosanna Scotto. I have a habit of yelling at my television whenever her plastic face flashes on screen during “24” (or whatever other Fox show I happen to be watching before the 10 o’clock news) teasing poison salad bars or killer dog poop or a child’s cold medicine that can strike you blind by just glancing at it. She, along with Ernie Anastos, make up the empty-headed “news” team that is the perfect argument for exactly what is wrong with dumbed-down newsatainment industry these days. Ratings over integrity–always a winning equation for the people. My personal biases aside, Fresco is like every suit-guy’s dream: there are nothing but blue and black suits as far as the eye can see. The problem here is that I wear jeans to work, as do most of the folks who joined me at our large, round table under a gaudy mural of god-knows-what. (I’m recalling like frolicking nubile cherubs or something, but that’s more a fantasy than a recollection.) In fact, the space kind of felt like some overdone home store in Jersey. And then there was the food… And as much as it pains me to say it, the stuff was pretty damn decent. The fried calamari, while typical, was well done, and my Caesar salad was very Caesar-y. My entree, a large piece of salmon with a good sauce and veggies, was perfectly cooked and soft and flaky as an art school co-ed. But–and this where I want to just smack the Brooklyn out of Rosanna–that piece of fish cost thirty-eight bucks. Even if it was good, it wasn’t four iTunes albums good. Apparently the Fresco folks know their clientele, and are aware that they aren’t really charging individuals, but raping corporate expense accounts and setting Amex cards aflame all over Midtown Manhattan. I’m sure this is a totally understood and commonly practiced scam, but it just seems so much more annoying when it’s being executed by the most dim-witted family in late night mock-news. [MF]
34 E 52nd St.