Restaurant cooks spend lots of time around food, chopping crates of onions, tending to vats of stock, and shaping delicate quenelles. But what’s on their plates for dinner?
Around 4 o’clock in kitchens all over the area, well before dinner service begins, you’ll find brigades of cooks huddled over what they call “family meal”—humble, one-pot feasts thrown together from leftover meats and vegetables. They’re usually prepared by a low-level cook for the rest of the staff, and they’re often eaten standing up.
We checked in with four restaurants every day for a week to see what they put on their own tables. No surprise—there’s not a quenelle in sight.
Day 1: House-made chorizo sauteed with Path Valley Farms eggs and served with flour tortillas and pico de gallo
Day 2: Soba noodles with shaved scallions, beef tempura, and dashi
Day 3: Singapore-style rice noodles
Day 4: Chiles rellenos with “super-spicy” tomato sauce
Day 5: Grilled Caesar salad with chicken
Day 1: Flank steak and short-rib tacos
Day 2: Braised pork with carrots, onion, cabbage, and mashed potatoes
Day 3: Italian sausage served cassoulet-style with white beans
Day 4: Cod with black beans, rice, and jalapeÃ±o salsa
Day 5: Flank steak with bistro fries
Day 1: Chicken stewed with onions, peppers, and tomato sauce, with rice, green beans, broccoli, and salad
Day 2: Pasta with marinara sauce and salad
Day 3: Frozen fish sticks with salad
Day 4: Baked catfish with rice, French fries, and salad
Day 5: Beef stew—made from leftover filet mignon—with peppers, onions, and tomato sauce, rice, and salad
HARRY'S TAP ROOM
Day 1: Grilled chicken with mesclun salad
Day 2: Hot dogs with French fries and chopped salad
Day 3: Cheese pizza with Caesar salad
Day 4: Penne pasta with cream sauce, garlic bread, and salad
Day 5: Barbecue pork with home fries and salad