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#646 Suzanne F

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:06 PM

I think the remarkable thing about that Diner's Journal entry is that Wells can't tell if the squab was off. " In my sheltered urban existence I have very little experience eating wild game and none at all eating aged squab." Well, sir, if you're the restaurant reviewer of the NYT, get in some practice; it isn't hard. As others have said, this is akin to saying in a review of a novel, er, I only read comics. And if the squab was not off, then this is very bad publicity for the restaurant.

And, just one more thing: a dressed salad goes limp in 5 mins? Come on.

Such a circumstance is remarkable? :blink: It's easy to find such stuff? Serious question: how many restaurants in NYC other than a few Chinese places even serve squab? Of those that do, how many serve the real wild thing? And of those, how many hang it in that same way? I'm guessing that the resulting number of restaurants is approaching zero. Developing a skill for recognizing properly hung squab just might not be all that valuable for any NYC reviewer. Not like, say, being able to taste the difference between grain- and grass-fed beef, or distinguishing among different aging times and methods.

If the squab was not off, it will make no difference whatsoever to the restaurant's reputation. Or to Wells's.* The percentage of the full dining public who read this stuff is probably minuscule. And given the unlikelihood of a huge number of people even being able to eat there, the few who read the whole description from Mirarchi and who get to eat at Roberta's are unlikely to be swayed. Maybe they view it as a badge of honor to eat reeking meat. (That I can easily imagine. <_< Because they can't tell the difference themselves.)

And yes, an overdressed salad can go limp that fast. And any salad can go limp in ten minutes at room temp--maybe his first time estimate was correct.

*I daresay there are people here who are looking for ways to bring Wells down. Sorry, guys, this ain't it. :lol:

I don't want to seem obsessed with this, but . . . -- Sneakeater, August 13, 2014

 

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#647 Orik

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:14 PM

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I never said that

#648 TaliesinNYC

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:16 PM


I think the remarkable thing about that Diner's Journal entry is that Wells can't tell if the squab was off. " In my sheltered urban existence I have very little experience eating wild game and none at all eating aged squab." Well, sir, if you're the restaurant reviewer of the NYT, get in some practice; it isn't hard. As others have said, this is akin to saying in a review of a novel, er, I only read comics. And if the squab was not off, then this is very bad publicity for the restaurant.

And, just one more thing: a dressed salad goes limp in 5 mins? Come on.

Such a circumstance is remarkable? :blink: It's easy to find such stuff? Serious question: how many restaurants in NYC other than a few Chinese places even serve squab? Of those that do, how many serve the real wild thing? And of those, how many hang it in that same way? I'm guessing that the resulting number of restaurants is approaching zero. Developing a skill for recognizing properly hung squab just might not be all that valuable for any NYC reviewer. Not like, say, being able to taste the difference between grain- and grass-fed beef, or distinguishing among different aging times and methods.

If the squab was not off, it will make no difference whatsoever to the restaurant's reputation. Or to Wells's.* The percentage of the full dining public who read this stuff is probably minuscule. And given the unlikelihood of a huge number of people even being able to eat there, the few who read the whole description from Mirarchi and who get to eat at Roberta's are unlikely to be swayed. Maybe they view it as a badge of honor to eat reeking meat. (That I can easily imagine. <_< Because they can't tell the difference themselves.)

And yes, an overdressed salad can go limp that fast. And any salad can go limp in ten minutes at room temp--maybe his first time estimate was correct.

*I daresay there are people here who are looking for ways to bring Wells down. Sorry, guys, this ain't it. :lol:



Hearth is one place that does, although I haven't been there in a very long while so I can't say for certain as to whether this is still the case. Can't say though as to its provenance.

#649 g.johnson

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:23 PM

High game isn't sulphurous, so who knows what the fuck he objected to.
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#650 uhockey

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:38 PM

When I had the dish last year it was damned gamy, but in that "holy shit, why don't more places serve food this interesting" kind of way - not a "bad" way.

Also, the salad going limp in 5 minutes? Even at L'Arpege the vegetables aren't served 5 minutes after picking, plating, or lightly dressing. Nit-picky to say the least.

#651 Orik

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:42 PM

In any event it's a problem that nobody was there to notice he wasn't happy with the dish, even if he wasn't happy with it because he's clueless and only likes sausages and meatballs.

I haven't experienced that in Roberta's but then I only ever sat at the bar when not doing the tasting menu. I can easily believe it.
I never said that

#652 uhockey

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:59 PM

In any event it's a problem that nobody was there to notice he wasn't happy with the dish, even if he wasn't happy with it because he's clueless and only likes sausages and meatballs.

I haven't experienced that in Roberta's but then I only ever sat at the bar when not doing the tasting menu. I can easily believe it.


Absolutely agreed.

#653 nuxvomica

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:11 AM

but how were the benches?
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#654 oakapple

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

I am inclined to agree with Suzanne that squab prepared this particular way is not a common dish in New York. From the article, it is really impossible to say whether it was "off" that night or if the dish is just not for him.

But is it shocking that he would experience that kind of service? It is probably more shocking that Sifton would claim it was "excellent".

It's interesting, too, that Wells is eating there on the company dime, at a restaurant there is zero chance of him re-reviewing anytime soon.
Marc Shepherd
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#655 Suzanne F

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

I am inclined to agree with Suzanne that squab prepared this particular way is not a common dish in New York. From the article, it is really impossible to say whether it was "off" that night or if the dish is just not for him.

But is it shocking that he would experience that kind of service? It is probably more shocking that Sifton would claim it was "excellent".

It's interesting, too, that Wells is eating there on the company dime, at a restaurant there is zero chance of him re-reviewing anytime soon.

Thank you. :)

But sorry, I couldn't find anything in the piece that said the meal was "on the company dime." Maybe he was just there with friends who wanted to eat there, and his status got them in (isn't that notoriously difficult?). I'd expect that if he'd been made, there would have been no such service problems--which indeed would make such poor service shocking, especially in light of the service Sifton said he experienced. If Wells hadn't been made, it's a sign that mere mortals might have poor service there, too--oh, the horror of the hoi polloi. :P

Not to oakapple but to others:
Ad hominem attacks on Well's knowledge of high game and his faculties of taste and smell, as well as denying even the possibility that a salad could wilt while sitting on the table, might be fun for some of you. But that all has nothing to do with the focus of the story, which both Orik and oakapple have reiterated: that there were service glitches when Wells ate there. That is an issue that can affect everyone who manages to eat at Roberta's. Or at any restaurant: it's possible--and shocking--to have poor service at a USHG restaurant.

I don't want to seem obsessed with this, but . . . -- Sneakeater, August 13, 2014

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#656 Wilfrid

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:23 PM

But is it shocking that he would experience that kind of service? It is probably more shocking that Sifton would claim it was "excellent".


That's exactly right. While you can get good service at Roberta's, Wells's experience is routine and recognizable. Sifton was about as anonymous as Lady Gaga.

#657 oakapple

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:23 PM

I couldn't find anything in the piece that said the meal was "on the company dime."

If he wrote about the meal, it would be pretty surprising if he didn't expense it.

Ad hominem attacks on Well's knowledge of high game and his faculties of taste and smell, as well as denying even the possibility that a salad could wilt while sitting on the table, might be fun for some of you. But that all has nothing to do with the focus of the story, which both Orik and oakapple have reiterated: that there were service glitches when Wells ate there. That is an issue that can affect everyone who manages to eat at Roberta's. Or at any restaurant: it's possible--and shocking--to have poor service at a USHG restaurant.

While service glitches can happen anywhere, I am guessing they are more common at Roberta's.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#658 Wilfrid

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

The particular experience of servers missing in action is common.

#659 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

If Wells was eating there on the company dime, I think that's admirable. Exactly the kind of background eating restaurant reviewers should do.
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#660 Orik

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

Not to oakapple but to others:
Ad hominem attacks on Well's knowledge of high game and his faculties of taste and smell, as well as denying even the possibility that a salad could wilt while sitting on the table, might be fun for some of you. But that all has nothing to do with the focus of the story, which both Orik and oakapple have reiterated: that there were service glitches when Wells ate there. That is an issue that can affect everyone who manages to eat at Roberta's. Or at any restaurant: it's possible--and shocking--to have poor service at a USHG restaurant.


I don't think attacking Wells's job performance is ad hominem. His star ratings so far indicate that he is not skilled at evaluating restaurants, or at the very least that he doesn't know or doesn't care about the somewhat fluid but still established standards for service and food at three, two and one star restaurants. (Il Buco VA, Parm, Shake Shack respectively)

If Wells wanted to be fair here, he would mention that he found a dish off-putting and that by the time he could get anyone's attention he already didn't feel like eating... I'm sure we've all had that experience in nyc restaurants and there's no reason to doubt that. However, he chose to also imply that the restaurant may have served him rotten meat. I doubt that very much and I think blaming the restaurant for his lack of skill is pathetic.

I also wish he went to post-Wells Il Buco VA at prime time to see what an utter zoo the place is and what service is like.

Funny that you mention USHG - we were chatting to a friend this morning and she mentioned service at North End Grill was the usual DM cheerful bomb, but that it was also totally clueless and disorganized. Maybe DM has concluded that people expect that in restaurant service today and is training his staff accordingly. Posted Image



I never said that