Every year I wait for The New Yorker’s food and drink issue to arrive. More so than any other magazine, newspaper, newsletter, or podcast, this issue always nails the of-the-moment vibe of the restaurant industry. The 2021 version, published September 6, is no exception. In fact, I think it’s one of the best to date.
By mashing together a collection of past essays, stories, and reported pieces (reaching all the way back to 1968 with M.F.K. Fisher’s “Once a Tramp, Always…” and Susan Orlean’s “The Homesick Restaurant” from 1996), the magazine shines a light on the essence, the importance, the soul-feeding entity that is food—and by extension—is also the restaurant. The stories hang together in a way that says everything about the current industry, without referencing it directly. It simply reminds readers why we are collectively (and sometimes fiercely) drawn to certain spaces, certain foods, and certain vibes. It highlights the importance of restaurants in our lives. It nudges the public to remember that dining and dining out are akin to a heartbeat.
That very rhythm is what we try to tap with every issue. With stories about the reality of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (“The Mousetrap”), the very slow rebound of lunch business (“Out to Lunch?”), and a look at the changing state of staffing (“Split Shift”), we hope to capture the industry’s pulse and show the breadth of issues affecting and changing Colorado restaurants every day. The strength of this magazine—like the restaurant industry itself—is the collective and diverse look at food and drink and people and place and how they all fit together.