When Connecticut native and Tony Award–winning singer-actress Anika Noni Rose — best known for playing Lorrell in Dreamgirls — visited New York as a child, her parents took her to restaurants like the Russian Tea Room and Sign of the Dove. “I had quail there for the first time,” she recalls of the latter, “and they had a bread pudding that was out of control.” Her education in food wasn’t lost on her— even this week as she rehearsed for a benefit at Carnegie Hall and put the finishing touches on her work in the upcoming miniseries The Starter Wife, the Inwood resident made time for phenomenal comfort food, ferocious lemon-meringue pie, and a certain doughy treat that she insists is “the best thing in the world.”
We figured Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl would have some singular eating habits, having written his share about eating substances other than food. “If you do a lot of shamanic work,” he told us, “There’s an inner cleansing process that goes on. You find the will to reject bad habits that extends to bad food.” Now that he’s on a higher plane, he’s working on a book about sustainability and says his research in the area is forcing him to make healthier choices. So what did he chose to eat this week?
Taking an active interest as we do in hygiene, we keep an eye on the New York Health Department’s restaurant-inspection site. Usually, it’s outer-borough taco joints and the like that flunk their tests. We were surprised today, however, to find a few big names cited for everything from suspect shellfish to — something worse than supect — rats.