769 Broadway
MAY 21, 2013




Those who find their fork, spoon, knife, or chopstick lacking may enjoy Utnsil, a bistro who has finessed a process that many would argue needs little improvement. There are three menus at Utnsil—one for food, one for drink, and one for utensils.

There are tiny snares made of fishing line that are lassoed around a chicken drumstick or an asparagus, then hauled towards the eating hemisphere of the face. Metal pincers resembling either robot, praying mantis, or reptile claws. There are multitudes of tines mounted on rings and bracelets.

Curiously absent from the utensil menu is the spork, the runciple spoon that populates school cafeterias, which despite having something of a cult following is not nearly esoteric enough for Utnsil’s clientele.

“You know what? That thing is seriously a spoon,” said Utnsil's owner, Madison Pratus, a man who wears a lot of black and some very complicated jewelry. He also has a lot of ideas about what he calls the New Silverware. “At best, the spork is a spoon with teeth. But this . . . ” he says, donning a tiara with three curving tines, one of which he uses to spear a roasted peach out of a mizuna salad, which he then pops off the tine using another curved chopstick-like thing onto my plate, “This thing is something new.”

This latest invention, a lawsuit waiting to happen, doesn't have a name. I am tempted to call it the head-fork, but the “f-word” as Pratus calls it, is banned from Utnsil. In fact, Pratus dislikes forks so much that he banned the letter “E” from the name of the restaurant because he claims it looks too much like a fork.

I settled on a risotto and a spoon bracelet, then sat back and watched the general chaos that was unfolding around me. While I’m game for the idea that the fork and spoon could be improved upon, Utnsil is the kind of eat-chic that exhausts even the most die-hard of eating enthusiasts.

“Let's go home. Let’s order chinese. Let’s go home and sit on the floor and eat chinese,” said one exhausted man, struggling with his Edward Chopstick hand-like arrangement, “Let’s buy cookbooks. I can't take this.”


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