Vesta's Giuseppe Falco Chats With Us About Foodies, Trends, and the Great Edison Bulb Blight
Photo courtesy of Vesta A view inside of Vesta, Giuseppe Falco's Italian restaurant and wine bar in Astoria
Yesterday we chatted with Giuseppe Falco, the owner, with Leo Sacco, of Astoria's Vesta Trattoria and Pachanga Patterson. Falco spoke at length about the neighborhood's changing restaurant scene, and, among other things, the origins of Vesta's famed Baby Jesus cake. In Part Two of our interview, he reflects on foodies, trends, and the Great Edison Bulb Blight.
Would you consider yourself a foodie?
I don't consider myself a foodie. I don't generally approve of the word "foodie," and not because there's anything wrong with it but because it seems like something where somebody is going to criticize everything they eat. Food for me isn't that. It's supposed to be spending time with people you love to hang out with and having a good time. In the last seven or eight years we've gotten away from the idea of having a great time. People go out and spend so much time criticizing that they forget they're out to have a great time. Everyone should have an opinion, but I think sometimes people focus so much on that that they forget to say, "I'm having dinner and drinks, let's have a good time."
Have a good time first. Be a critic second. You can have a great time in a place where you don't have the best meal. It doesn't have to be life-changing. Not many things are. You're not going to a French bistro to have your life changed.
Kind of along the same lines, are there any restaurant or food trends you wish would go away?
Lots of them. Oh my goodness. I don't know if this is food or restaurant, but if I never saw another Edison bulb again I wouldn't cry. When it first started, it was so cool. Then all of a sudden it was tiring. It's like, how many can you put in a restaurant? When you grow up in an Italian or European household, it's all mix and match, I'm going to have 100 things that look completely different and not like they belong in the same place. And then you walk in some place and it's all Edison bulbs.
But trends, that's a tough one because I think anything done well is amazing. We've also seen things weed themselves out as we go along. For example, tapas: You don't hear that as much anymore. That's weeded itself out. People are still doing it but don't call it tapas. But definitely the Edison bulbs. They can go.