Tony ventures back to where it all started for him after an 8 year absence, Las Halles, a NYC restaurant where he worked when he launched his career. This is a great look into the back-of-house events in any restaurant you will ever eat at.
Tony goes back to the kitchen at Las Halles, a French style restaurant in New York City, where he worked in the kitchen while he wrote his first boo, Kitchen Confidential. After 28 years in various kitchens, and behind the firing line, he graduated and started his stint as an author, and world traveling cynical food connoisseur. After runnig the globe, he's back to prove to everyone, and himself, that he's not just some just some guy who flys, eats, and drinks, but someone who has been there, knows his stuff, and truly appreciates the culinary arts. At first we get a little history from Tony, and the restaurant he called home and the people he worked with. He starts his day reparing his station, the saute area, and gets right to it for the breakfast service. He deals with breakfast with no issue. Tony does a decent job, considering he can't read the tickets due to his 51 year old eyes. Sweating the whole time, he does well enough, only receiving one re-cook, but classic Tony, the is no shortage of one liners, self depricating, and hollow complaints. After making it through the rush, he takes his classic 3 o'clock beer break, the whole time dreading his dinner experience. After we meet his old friend and long time server at Las Halles, he is appropriately thrust 'into the fire'. Tony invited his friend Eric, a classically trained chef, to enjoy in his experiment, who works the grill with Tony. Contrary to my expectations, Tony and Eric both do a great job, using the great line cook way of not thinking, just cooking. I love No Reservations, but this season has faltered a bit, concentrating more on Tony's exploits more than the food. This was a pleasant diversion for the norm, and a great season finale. Bravo Tony on a job well done, you made it look (somewhat) easy.