Liaoning, said the waitress who speaks English best, translating for the owner. That Chinese province — you'd pass through it on the halting daylong train ride from Beijing to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea — was the first home of this restaurant's chef. In emphasis, the owner brought a magazine clipping to my table about her original restaurant, in Flushing: Golden Palace.
The sewing room and the boudoir, not the dining room or the kitchen, were the likely haunts for most of the items highlighted in this painted promotion from nearly a century ago. Griffon, which was founded in 1888 and moved its offices here, to Chelsea, in 1920, saw fit to mention "cutlery" only twice — yet the company's tableware and carving sets aren't hard to find on the collectibles market. Perhaps management came to believe that the corporate name was too limiting. A set of steak knives you buy once, but tools to help decorate a better home or groom a better you, those you might buy again and again.
Griffon Cutlery Surviving signage (photographed on two different occasions), 151 West 19th St. (Sixth-Seventh Aves.), Manhattan
The poppy-seed bagel that frames "The Sinatra" ($7.35) adds a chewy counterpoint to Genoa salami, ham, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, and roasted peppers, dressed with oil and vinegar. Toasting the bagel first might be pushing your luck; this Italian-American-Jewish mashup strikes the right balance exactly as served.
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company 35-09 Ditmars Blvd. (35th-36th Sts.), Astoria, Queens 718-932-8280 (One of several locations, none of them in Brooklyn) www.BKBagel.com
Snow on the roof: The top of the "baker's muffin" ($4) is broad and crusty. The bottom is crammed with springy chunks of dough laced with apple and cinnamon; here and there you'll encounter raisins and bits of crushed walnut, too. It's just aching to be pulled apart, by two hands or more.
Also shown below: the bakery's summertime cart on the High Line (to the right of the walkway), which sold squares of crisp "green pizza" ($4) with leeks, scallions, and a little mint; and an even more ephemeral warm-weather birdbath.
Great Western Distributors? Jiffy Foods? New York Loin? Many food-service tenants have occupied this building since its doors first opened for business, in 1904; it's difficult to know which of them might have posted the sign, now embellished by graffiti. Today, of course, there's much less meat in the Meatpacking District. As of 2013 the tenants include a pair of nationally known apparel companies, both of which offer a greater variety of goods to customers with trimmer figures.
"We got beef!" 420-424 West 14th St. (Ninth Ave.-Washington St.), Manhattan
The three characters in the name of this Chinese establishment (no relation to the Malaysian Taste Good of Elmhurst, Queens) can be loosely rendered as "fine food house." I haven't sampled the fare myself, but I'm charmed by the transformation of the center character, which also appears in the house-shaped logo. One of the character's diagonal strokes has been replaced by a pair of chopsticks, the other, by a spoon, reinforcing the message of homey goodness.