I didn't think I'd love this place, but I wasn't expecting how much I disliked it.
The views are spectacular, of course. And the service is the chirpy Danny Meyer norm. But everything else . . . .
Many of things I didn't like were interesting because they were illustrative of what I don't like about mainstream dining in New York in general right now. Some things were more particular to this restaurant.
You have to bear in mind the pressures that operate on someone opening up a restaurant-with-a-view in a developing dining district. The place has to be comfortable for tourists, in both the senses of people visiting from the provinces and people who don't eat out very often. It can't be too interesting or distinctive. That's why I didn't expect to like this place in any event. But it could have been better than this.
First, you have this room at the top of the former Chase building with spectacular, almost unmatchable views (we'll see if they're matched by the views from the upcoming place at the top of the former Cities Service/AIG building). But things being what they are, you can't make it fancy: the market won't tolerate that. But you also can't make it too hip: that's not who's going to come here. So what they did is make it like an airport lounge. When you're not gazing in awe out the floor-to-ceiling windows, it's almost compulsively unappealing.
Then there's the beverage program. The house cocktails are of the cocktails-for-people-who-don't-like-cocktails style, everything a bit too tricked up and definitely too sweet. That's not an insuperable problem, of course, because you can always ask for a classic (don't expect any "interesting" liquor brands, though).
But the wine list! This is everything wrong with mainstream wine lists (as discussed ad nauseam in the Frenchette thread). Very little older than 2015 (but not much meant to be drunk this young). Very little cheaper than $75; a lot that costs much more (including, of course, all the very few adequately aged bottles they have). This is why the Frenchette list exists -- and why I don't understand how anyone who really likes wine can complain about it. Because most places with more "traditional" lists like this one are basically pissing in your face. The fact that they're doing it not because they want to mess with your face, but only because they're afraid of scaring mainstream consumers, doesn't make it any more pleasant on the receiving end.
The food, I think, went wrong in a more individual way. The concept is what you might call "updated trad", and there's no reason it couldn't be fine (if unexciting). But the "updates" were all wrong. You can put little discs of pork sausage under your escargots if you want -- but how can you not be aware of how unappealing the melted butter is with the sausage? You can serve your quenelles virtually dry if you want -- but WHY? There's a reason they usually come swimming in sauce Nantua (this had me thinking how much I wouldn't want a dry matzoh ball, without the chicken soup). Similar, you can "update" a blanquette de veau so that there's almost no sauce -- but WHY WHY WHY (especially when the piece of veal was notably fatty and unappealing) (where do you even get fatty veal)? My guess of an answer to those "WHY?"s was that they wanted to make the food seem lighter to people who are afraid of food.
I understand that you'd want to make a restaurant-with-a-view in a developing dining neighborhood mass-appealing and unesoteric. But while I wouldn't say Manhatta is cynical, I think in this case they threw the baby out with the bathwater.