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Deborah: life, love, food.

Deborah Stanton, chef and coowner of her namesake restaurant in Greenwich Village with business partner David Oh, uses a "subtitle" to define her establishment: Life, Love, Food. Is Deborah, a lesbian chef with years of national experience as a restaurateur, telling us something about herself or her restaurant? Both. Bountiful portions of all three are served up in her restaurant, a sleek, red-banqueted storefront in an unglamorous corner of the West Village. When we answered "yes" to our pretty blond waitress (just moved to New York from San Francisco to pursue an acting career) who asked if we had enjoyed our roasted baby beet salad with spiced walnuts, she added, "That's the love part. And more love from Deborah is on the way with the main course."

Dapper in her starched-white chef jacket, Deborah presides at both the bar and open-air kitchen, where she can be seen mixing exotic drinks as alluring as liquid jewels and giving impromptu cooking lessons to the line cooks. From the way she greets her faithful clientele (expect a hug, someday), by her estimate "80% gay and lesbian," you can see she has more energy than can ever be dispelled. Certainly much of that energy and enthusiasm winds up in the pot and pan--in her fresh angel hair pasta with Italian tuna, a sweet soy-glazed monkfish with fava succotash and in desserts like blackberry creme brulee or a cooling key-lime tart. Eat here once and you become a lifelong lover of Deborah's food.

43 Carmine St., New York City; 212-242-2606; Tuesday-Sunday, 11-11.
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Title Annotation:tabletops
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Sep 30, 2003
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