Actually, I can answer that: They both have gone on to open other restaurants and have left their home bases poorly attended.
To wit: At Durkin’s Trattoria Diane in Roslyn the other night, short ribs were pathetically overcooked and in need of some meat on them. A pasta carbonara was mushy and watery, a pork chop tough and tasteless. We were told that chef-owner John Durkin was “at the other restaurant,” which I took to mean the new Day Boat Café in Irvington.
And at Ginor’s Tel Aviv in Great Neck a few weeks ago, the food was a leaden disappointment: chewy chicken, unripe tomatoes and, my biggest complaint, green eggplant salad that was nowhere near the quality that the kitchen had been sending out for a couple of years. Whether Ginor was cooking that night at Lola, his newer Great Neck restaurant, or was otherwise engaged, I don’t know.
These two restaurants, among Newsday’s very favorites on Long Island (Trattoria Diane has 3½ stars; Tel Aviv, 3) are missing their masters behind the stoves. Which is why I think that restaurants, like Broadway theaters, ought to have a sign outside telling you when an understudy has been pressed into service.
Trattoria Diane is at 21 Bryant Ave., Roslyn, 516-621-2591. Tel Aviv is at 613 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, 516-466-6136.
I wish my pasta carbonara at Trattoria Diane had been as good as it looks here.