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The Payoff: Alto and L'Impero

Today, as expected, Frank Bruni does the do-se-do with Alto and L’Impero, taking a star from the latter and giving it to the former:

L’Impero and Alto remain vital restaurants, worthy of the attention of anyone who cares about serious Italian cooking. Alto, in fact, is better than ever…

L’Impero is now the restaurant with the more lugubrious air, all of that pleated drapery along the walls evoking the upholstered interior of a very large coffin.

I can neither agree nor disagree with Bruni here, as my visit to Alto dates from the Conant era, and I have never yet visited L’Impero. These are Italian restaurants, and from Bruni one naturally expected the stars to be twinkling this week. Coincidentally, I made reservations at L’Impero for a week from Friday—before knowing that Bruni would be reviewing it. Could there be a paranormal psychic channel between us? The mind shudders.

On our hypothetical $1 bets, Eater and I win $2 at L’Impero and $3 at Alto, for a whopping $5 payoff this week.

          Eater        NYJ
Bankroll $55.50   $58.67
Gain/Loss +5.00   +5.00
Total $60.50   $63.67
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 24–6   23–7

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