Shopsin's, though much ballyhooed by Calvin Trillin in the New Yorker
magazine, lost much of its character though retained its central characters when moving to Carmine Street, and then again to the Essex St Market. We never thought much of the food—we got food poisoning at the Carmine Street joint a good number of years ago—but the wackily diverse menu as well as thawed food scraps from reconstituted meals kept regulars coming back year after year. Food was generally average to below average—when even palatable—but it was the Greenwich Village atmosphere that makes it such an authentically New York place.
Shopsin's has now re-emerged as a 20-seater in the Essex Street Market, and time will tell if the gruff Kenny Shopsin charm lives on. Meanwhile, Shopsin has written a book about his restaurant and the philosophy behind it, titled Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin
. We stick to our original advice: eat elsewhere unless you enjoy suffering abuse along with diverse ingredients folded into Aunt Jemima's pancake mix. Trust us, it ain't worth it.