The Nation: Fare Game

From Armenian to Ukrainian, practically every cuisine in the world is available in New York City's 20,000 restaurants. But in many of these places, one does not live by matzoth, pita or tortillas alone. People go to some restaurants to see or be seen. Visitors are usually torn about trying those famous—and expensive —places that often threaten humiliation in some Siberia or ketchup room reserved for anonymous (to the maitre d') citizens.

Some will be tempted by well-known names like "21" (52nd St. between Fifth Ave. and Avenue of the Americas), where the captain may greet all but nationally known politicians with...

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