Since it briefly threatened the supremacy of St. Marks Place’s Dumpling Man when it opened two years ago, Plump Dumpling, an itty-bitty hut on 11th Street near Second Avenue, has earned a loyal East Village following. But is the business engaging in dumpings as well as dumplings — that is, dumping its cooking oil into the three tree planters outside the apartment building next door?
Colson Whitehead, author of John Henry Days, The Colossus of New York, and Apex Hides the Hurt, is currently holed up in the bistros of his neighborhood, Fort Greene, at work on his next novel, which is about a teenager who subsists on TV dinners and toils at an ice-cream parlor (the novelist's traumatic summers in a Hamptons scoop shop are documented in his New York Times essay "Eat Memory, I Scream"). Readers familiar with Whitehead’s odes to cocktail-party buffets in The Intuitionist already know that food inspires him. “The adjectives I use when I write about food come from a different place,” he says. So what has he been eating lately?