Vandaag, The Actress
It’s not often that I’m wrong. Truly, I can’t recall the last time, oh, dear, now I remember. The year was 19_ and my husband’s hirsute assistant, Francis, had made it big in Hollywood. He was directing the third installment of his Italian, red-sauce drama, The Grandfather. Frankly, I failed to see what all the fuss was about. Really, an Oscar for best adapted screenplay, for what should’ve been called best adapted Montessori classroom role call. “Barzini is dead. So is Phillip Tattaglia. Moe Greene. Stracci. Cuneo.” Heavens, this is one Alfredo away from being a Mama Leone’s menu.
Anyway, Francis was desperately searching for a new actress and since I was already cast in Home Alone, I suggested his young, pudgy, pre-rhinoplasty daughter. He thought the idea brilliant. Well, no one told me they planned to film with her real nose! Had I known, I would never have suggested her. No wonder it was a flop.
All this to say that I was wrong about my initial review of Vandaag, which was hardly generous. Prompted by a few, as the Kid says “haters,” I decided to give it another try and found the food delicate, refined, and delicious. Food fit for a lady.. Unlike most unrefined restaurants where the waiter asks the lady what she wants instead of asking the man what the lady will have, Vandaag didn’t even ask, instead, the chef chose for me. 7 courses were brought out by a model turned waiter who described the food as if reciting poetry. I admit my manners were atrocious as I slurped down the oyster course, attacked the blood sausage like a fork wielding savage and ate every last bite, even the bitterballen.
But, dear reader, I write this review with a heavy heart as Vandaag has shuttered its East Village location for good. But be sure to look out for the sequel, Vandaag part III in Brooklyn.