(*not my meal, but mine looked equally appealing)

Delicious Leftovers (of melt-in-your-mouth Strip Steak and beautiful Veal Chop)

A couple weeks ago, I was standing in the kitchen making lunch when a show called Avec Eric came on the tube. It was Eric Ripert hanging out with and some of his wealthy celebrity chef friends, smoking expensive cigars and sipping (no doubt) rare wines on the Grand Caymen Islands.

Anyways, there was the refined Ripert with his sexy French accent and silver dome of perfect hair talking to David Chang, who seemed to be tipsy and was talking like he really wanted to impress Ripert. Chang was bragging about how cutting-edge he was and how he wasn't out to please his paying customers and would cook only food that he liked. Ripert thought this over and said something like, yeah, if you leave it up to the diner they'll always select steak and baked potatoes.

I laughed out loud at these guys. I'd eaten at all their restaurants (and that includes Bourdain's Les Halles back when he was still cooking), and sure, I really, really love Le Bernardin and my recent meal at Momofuku Ko was truly transcendent. Still, they sounded so pretentious and out of touch (except for the lovable and never-full-of-himself, genuine Jose Andres), it was off-putting.

I picked up the phone and made reservations for a loved one's birthday at the Top Steakhouse. We had steak and baked potatoes. I could not have been happier or enjoyed any other dinner better that night.

Off topic a bit (OK, a lot), tonight's your last chance to see the alleged last TV performance of a great, great band (one of my faves, and who're bravely teaching scalpers a lesson over their upcoming NYC shows) , LCD Soundsystem -- they were on last night's Colbert Report (another personal favorite!), which repeats tonight at 7:30 p.m.