Torino or Turkey

Out-of-towners are always the little kids at the emperor’s parade — we had dinner with a sublimely food-savvy friend in from Chicago the other night and he was ranting about how cheesy the Seconda Tenuta looks. Italians, this Italophile said, do design right. And the Batali-ized translation “looks like a Bennigan’s, where they just shoved in all this shit to try to make it feel authentic.” He was happy with the espresso he’d scored with his wife but horrified by the aesthetic disaster around him. Somehow, he didn’t sound mollified when I said he should, given all the raving about the emperor’s ermine, be happy he got in at all.