“This is carbonara, a classic Roman pasta”

I have mixed feelings about Mexico asking for Unesco protection for its cuisine: on one mano it’s laudable, on the other I had a kimchi tamal at Momofuku Noodle Bar that could convert a whole new generation to the religion of masa. But then I think maybe all national cuisines should be protected. Consider Italian. Saturday my consort and I wound up meandering around the West Village in search of lunch after the Union Square Greenmarket and were depressed to find the wonderful little shop across from Minetta Tavern selling focaccia col formaggio worthy of Recco now just bakes any old pizza. The guy I’m convinced proudly sold us our first slab looked beaten. And then we wound up at the newish Quinto Quarto, which looks Italian to the Tuscan Sun max but turns out food so bad it would convert your average Milanese to the McItaly. And it’s still in business. At least we evaded the worst New York food: Glasian — gloppy Thai/Vietnamese/sushi.