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Favourite meals of 2018


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#16 Orik

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 10:18 PM

Yes.

 

Also, personally even though BF is excellent, I don't have a particular need for a Japanese "western" tasting menu restaurant in nyc so I don't go more than once a every year or two. Aska isn't a counter and manages to entertain even though the food itself is served in a SP-like format. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#17 joethefoodie

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 01:28 PM

The 3 preceding posts all hit the nail on the head for me.



#18 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 08:39 PM

I'll just toss out my perennial observation -- based mainly on my own personal experience and possibly not applicable to anyone else -- that SP style restaurants are more useful/appealing to visitors/tourists than to locals.


I just want to make clear that this very much includes me when I'm a visitor/tourist.

 

I'll never love the long-fixed-menu small-portion format.  But it does fill up the night.  At home, I have other things to do.


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#19 Adrian

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 09:23 PM

 

I'll just toss out my perennial observation -- based mainly on my own personal experience and possibly not applicable to anyone else -- that SP style restaurants are more useful/appealing to visitors/tourists than to locals.


I just want to make clear that this very much includes me when I'm a visitor/tourist.

 

I'll never love the long-fixed-menu small-portion format.  But it does fill up the night.  At home, I have other things to do.

 

 

I don't know if that logic really holds. It's a good thing to have these full-night, special event places in your town. I would not complain if I had Brooklyn Fare or EMP in Toronto and I think it's an odd position to take that these objectively great restaurants are not worth going to because there's other stuff for a local with an evening (but a tourist can't enjoy those same things that are better than EMP?). It's more that these are explicitly performative restaurants that are suitable for a single use: an evening devoted to experiencing and examining the creative vision of a singular chef. If you like doing this - and we all like doing this - it is a good thing to have these restaurants around, tourist or not. Ultimately, though, there are diminishing returns to this. Once you've had the winter 2019 EMP menu, you don't really need to do it again. 


I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#20 IanT

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:14 PM

The distinction surely isn’t re. “SP style” restaurants. Classical fine dining is just as likely to take 3 hours and be the only possible event of the evening?

This is just Sneak saying that if given the choice between a long dinner and going somewhere casual which can fit around a concert/gig/theatre that he'll generally choose the latter?

It’s true, of course, that familiarity breeds, if not contempt, then at least the thought that maybe there’s something better/different/more interesting out there to try. There isn’t a fancy restaurant in London I go to more than twice a year. And much as I love Brooklyn Fare, I can’t imagine I’d go more than once a year if I lived in New York.

#21 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:34 PM

The only reason I disagree is that I go to fine-dining places (not that there are so many left here) after performances more than occasionally.  I went to The Leopard at Des Artistes after a show just this Thursday.

 

There's usually time for a three- or four-course dinner.  Just not a 12-course one.


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#22 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:35 PM

I'm not sure I've ever been to The Grill, say, other than after a performance.


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#23 IanT

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:48 PM

Sure, it’s a distinction between the time commitment required of the meal and it’s ability to flex around other events.

But it is clearly putting those other things as your priority over the opportunity to eat at some of the best restaurants.

So maybe you make that choice in NY because you’ve already been to all the best restaurants and you know what to expect. Whereas when you’re travelling you’re more likely to try a new restaurant as opposed to trying to find a show or concert to attend?

Or maybe you just prioritise the arts over the opportunity to eat at some of the best restaurants? Which is fine, of course, just not likely to be a widely held view on a food board.

It would, however, be a little odd if you always made that choice to the extent that you, as someone living in New York who is clearly extremely interested in food, never got around to visiting Brooklyn Fare or Eleven Madison Park.

#24 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:55 PM

You're right.  I'd add also that I'm very tuned into what's going on in New York in terms of live performances, whereas when I'm planning a vacation I usually have only minimal (if that) idea (so it doesn't seem like I'm missing out on anything if I plan all-night meals).  Although what you say about priorities is certainly correct.


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#25 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 10:57 PM

That said, though, you have to admit that it's something kind of new that "the best" restaurants are now inconsistent with doing anything else (i.e., will involve more than a three- or four-course dinner).


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#26 Sneakeater

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 11:07 PM

It's funny, actually.  There's a performance space called the Baryshnikov Arts Center/DiMenna Center across the street from Brooklyn Fare.  At least pending the opening of Hudson Yards (and that performance space has been there for years), you're not spoiled for choice dining after shows there.  (Thank God Farida opened.)

 

Yeah, one of the best restaurants in New York is right across the street.  But of course you can't use it.


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#27 IanT

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 11:19 PM

That said, though, you have to admit that it's something kind of new that "the best" restaurants are now inconsistent with doing anything else (i.e., will involve more than a three- or four-course dinner).


I’m not sure that is new? A “fine dining” dinner in the 80s would have still taken the night even if it involves 4 courses rather than 12?

I don’t think a meal at Brooklyn Fare takes longer than a meal at L’Ambroisie (whose format I suspect has changed little since the 70s).

#28 IanT

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Posted 03 February 2019 - 11:21 PM

And just to be annoying, we did actually manage to fit in a show and some drinks the night we went to Brooklyn Fare. (The early evening show of The Magician At the Nomad. Awesome it was too).

#29 Orik

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 12:02 AM

 

That said, though, you have to admit that it's something kind of new that "the best" restaurants are now inconsistent with doing anything else (i.e., will involve more than a three- or four-course dinner).


I’m not sure that is new? A “fine dining” dinner in the 80s would have still taken the night even if it involves 4 courses rather than 12?

I don’t think a meal at Brooklyn Fare takes longer than a meal at L’Ambroisie (whose format I suspect has changed little since the 70s).

 

 

It's far easier for me to name 10 dishes I love at l'Ambroisie and every detail about them than even one dish at BF. BF is much more about a concept of a certain quality of ingredients. range of texture, flavor, and plating than about specifics you can get to after those things are given. I understand this and this is enough for me. If I go again there will be nothing new, I think. I'm also wondering whether BF can, at all, do anything for regulars as Aska or, I'm sure, EMP, can do for theirs, considering the seating arrangements. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#30 IanT

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Posted 04 February 2019 - 08:49 AM

If I go again there will be nothing new, I think.


Is that not even more true of L’Ambrosiise? And part of the reason that you can remember it’s dishes so well (as they never change)?

For what it’s worth I can remember almost every dish we ate at BF in May (and the frozen soufflé was the most memorable dish I had all year, I think, pushed by L’Ambroisie’s wild strawberry dessert). And I can still remember a number of the dishes from our previous visit four years ago.

I’m not sure any of this goes to the original point, in any event, that Brooklyn Fare seems somewhat underrated (whether against other “SP style” restaurants or otherwise). Orik’s point about BF’s inability/unwillingness to cosset regulars/VIPs may be relevant?