Sometimes you just need to pull back the curtain and dispense with colorful obfuscation for everyone’s sake, and this is a case in point: I got invited to both a showing of the Danny Meyer documentary at MOMA and the reception beforehand. And I can happily report the latter was exceptional, with a well-edited guest list and demanding host and plenty of good food and drink (both sparkling and the Morgroni, a Meyer dad twist on the Negroni that, his son admitted, should have been served colder). But the film. Oy. Footage from 1998 supplemented with a few contemporary interviews does not an Errol Morris make. No wonder it went straight to DVD. But I was really glad I saw it because it took me back to those glory days of 1998, which was the year I went back to the NYTimes and the future looked so bright we had to take 401Ks. Danny says he was chagrined to be shot in an Armani overcoat with shoulders stretching from the East River to the Hudson, but it’s the right plumage for the time, an era when he complains onscreen about not being able to hire enough competent waiters or keep enough skilled craftsmen on the job to get both Eleven Madison and Tabla up and running within a month of each other. Watching those scenes in a roomful of old and rich people just brought home the answer to a question I constantly offer my enlightened friends: Are we doomed? Or are we fucked? No restaurateur today could even envision opening what Danny did in 1998 — what bank/investor would commit to a project that insanely ambitious? But what resonated most with me is how he saw the future and beat it. Only after a seriously good chef was kicked to the curb and a star magnet was installed did Eleven Madison finally take off, with food to match its glorious setting. Now it’s a restaurant reflecting its time, in a country where 400 people control most of the wealth. I ate there under Heffernan more times than I can count but suspect I will go to the crematorium without ever experiencing even its bar again. The literal bar is set too high. But he deserves the honorific of Saint when you consider his genius in starting the Shake Shacks. No one can be too annoyed at him for getting shut out of his temple of cuisine if there’s a “let ’em eat burgers” option so close by. . .