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#31 E.L.A.

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:10 PM

I think they will do well...actually, they already are. The place has turned around a great deal from the early days, the partnership issues, and the previous chefs. I've spoke with numerous people who have gone -- and returned there -- since Tom Ciszak has taken over. He's a very good, and well respected chef -- and as I said when he arrived at Chakra, if he was able to re-do the menu the way he wanted to, wasn't restricted, had complete control of the kitchen, etc., he would produce and produce well. IMO, he's done that. I've now been there several times, as have many friends of mine -- and the comments and reviews are all very positive. 

 

He has his own "style" and ways of doing things, and his ideas on the seasonal menus may or may not be the most popular with this clientele. Personally, I don't know. Whatever he's doing, it's working.

 

As far as two dishes that kept him out of 4-star status -- OK, I can hear/see that. I might chalk that up to an off-night or personal tastes. He's always been known for his schnitzel. However, grease is no excuse, but as far as the rest -- maybe the seasoning, taste, etc. is chocolate and vanilla; I like and you don't. Again, could be an off-night. Now, about the filet mignon -- I've had it and I like it. I've never had a bad steak there. Filet of course is not going to be the most flavorful steak/cut there is, and it often is the lowest on the flavor scale -- but I've liked it there, the flavor, taste, the mushrooms, the sauce, etc. It's not a steakhouse, but it's a nice steak and fits into the menu and other items as well.



#32 Rail Paul

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:34 PM

Good thoughts.

 

FWIW, I've often felt that having one good steak, one good fish, one vegetarian entree etc on the menu is essential, regardless of the restaurant's overall focus.

 

It's so easy for one person in a group to deliver a knock out when a choice of restaurant is being discussed.  "But they don't serve a good piece of meat / fish / vegan, etc".  Knocking out that obstacle can be very helpful.


Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

#33 E.L.A.

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 05:13 PM

Good thoughts.

 

FWIW, I've often felt that having one good steak, one good fish, one vegetarian entree etc on the menu is essential, regardless of the restaurant's overall focus.

 

It's so easy for one person in a group to deliver a knock out when a choice of restaurant is being discussed.  "But they don't serve a good piece of meat / fish / vegan, etc".  Knocking out that obstacle can be very helpful.

 

I agree...very often it's the "one dish" aspect -- not everyone or even a single person is going to like every single thing. Tom might have his own vision -- and the clientele seem to want some of those signature dishes -- but he's very good, so whatever he offers is going to be good. I am sure he can incorporate both into an excellent offering/menu.



#34 E.L.A.

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 03:11 PM

Has anyone been lately? I have -- it's excellent. More details to follow.

 

However, I wanted to find out if anyone has been recently. Given the history, having been there a long time, etc. -- I think as more people find out about Tom Ciszak, more people try the place, and so on, this is the kind of place that can really catch on. I do think the "old" reputation has bred some "ho hum" attitude from the masses, but if they get the word out and more people see this is a new and different Chakra -- then watch out!

 

I know Ciszak's arrival got good publicity. I know foodies and critics knew about it and some even tried it. But, and I am no expert, maybe some re-invention or slight re-branding could have been the catalyst...Chakra 2, Chakra Again, Chakra Too, whatever. Exploit the new, the change, create a buzz. I know CIszak kept some of the dishes that the regulars liked. He commented on that in one of the stories in the news. However, he started doing his thing, what he learned people would like, and he does it very well!

 

So, has anyone tried Chakra lately? Thanks.



#35 Rail Paul

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 11:35 PM

Have not been there recently.  Curiously, given my comment up thread, Chakra's been knocked out by "they don't  serve (whatever)" and we've gone elsewhere.


Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

#36 E.L.A.

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 01:57 AM

Chakra has closed...stay tuned for Tom's new restaurant (Closter)...