How can we in Manhattan discover world-class, inspiring, delicious food in the middle of this 30-block downtown wasteland?
There are some remarkable discoveries out there — the truly exceptional restaurant in Coney Island or Chelsea, the happy-hour waitress on Bleecker Street. But the metropolitan food scene is choked with mediocre offerings that come courtesy of apps with depressing names like Doublesiade or Fish Dash.
A new app, however, aims to reinvent the app experience. Other food apps that have offered their wares in lower Manhattan have been confined to cooking tips or pat ditsies like, well, Food Maps. And even those apps typically want you to order in. Not Now.
Now you can use the app and make reservations at top restaurants without dragging people around and running their valets through zillions of photos of the food. Now you can see menus in real time, pay and review the place before your dinner is even served.
The app is impressive, offering excellent recommendations and quality photos — a bonus when you factor in that the reviews are completely subjective.
And unlike other apps with dubious ratings, When You Fancy, as it’s called, has a minimum of three-star rating to qualify it as an opinion column.
But good reviews do not guarantee a good experience, and the app does not give me assurance that a place I choose would be terrific.
The app gives the choice to go to dinner in Brooklyn or Manhattan, which is the real question. Should I stay or should I go? I certainly don’t have to go somewhere for $99 a person, as my experience has already shown. In the end, the only real benefit of going to eat is quality time with friends.
“Eat more, get fit” may be the wrong prescription, but it may not be completely wrong either. The app’s owner, Yabu Pushelberg, did not return repeated messages seeking comment.
What started as an urban food app is quickly being transformed into a “digital rediscovery” phenomenon. Oh, and you are encouraged to share your photos.