Regulars to Z Cuisine and its next-door sister operation Z Cuisine À Côté, at 2239 and 2245 West 30th Avenue, have a devil of a time describing their culinary experiences there. How do you adequately convey the sensation of it all: the perfectly crafted foie gras and cassoulet, the crowded yet intimate ambiance, the feeling that everything - everything - is poised exactly where it should be?
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Turns out one of the restaurant's own has come pretty darn close, thanks to skills with a shutter lens that rival her ability in the kitchen. Kristen Hatgi, a chef at the bistro and wine bar, runs the photoblog Z Cuisine and À Côté, filled with photos she's taken of her colleagues in action. From the farmers markets where they obtain their produce and the dusty strands of pasta they roll out, to the flame-liked caramel on the crème brûlée and the colorful riot of a menu tacked to the wall, Hatgi's images convey the same sense of effortless artistry which graces the delicacies she chronicles. Enjoy the mouth-watering view. -- Joel Warner