What happened to the restaurant scene in the Sex and the City revival?

Two decades have passed since we last saw the gals of HBO’s Sex and the City dining out on the town, and some—myself included—have gotten to thinking: Why are they eating at such pedestrian places these days? In HBO’s revival of the series, And Just Like That, whose finale just dropped, we see Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte eating among tourists in Chelsea Market and having a heart-to-heart in … a Starbucks? They are spotted in Midtown (which, despite being “pulsing again,” according to The New York Times, still seems off-brand for these lifelong New Yorkers). And they seemingly never trek to Brooklyn to meet Miranda for a bite. It’s not that the restaurants are bad, Elise Taylor writes for Vogue, but the choices seem out of touch with the zeitgeist of 2022 New York—something that the old show, with lunches at Cafeteria and multiple attempts to score tables at a fictionalized Balthazar—“so fastidiously captured.” Meanwhile Architectural Digest has a different take in its recent roundup of spots—“New York’s most elegant”— the AJLT cast dines in. AD may see them as THE New York restaurants, but to Taylor, they aren’t; and in losing that, the revival is missing some of the appeal of the original, where restaurants were “a plot point themselves.” Of course, just like one’s feelings about the show’s new character Che Diaz, it’s all subjective. And while I’m personally missing the rude hostesses, dimly lit packed bars, and occasional real-life celebrity sightings of the original SATC’s restaurants, maybe the real difference is that mid-pandemic, going out to eat—even at boring places—is a treat regardless. Or maybe it’s just that Samantha took her Resy status with her when she moved to London. —Sofia Sokolove