Jump to content


Photo

Bigoli


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 mitchells

mitchells

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,656 posts

Posted 21 November 2011 - 05:10 PM

This should be good: Alex Stratta in NYC

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

#2 Evelyn

Evelyn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,333 posts

Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:23 PM

Sounds very much like the menu he did at Stratta at the Wynn.

#3 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,611 posts

Posted 22 November 2011 - 01:48 AM

This is wonderful news.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#4 hcbk0702

hcbk0702

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 324 posts

Posted 22 November 2011 - 01:54 AM

Still waiting for Laurent Gras to tip his hand.

#5 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,611 posts

Posted 06 December 2011 - 03:46 PM

Eater's commenters savage the restaurant's decor. And, they haven't even gotten to the food yet.

Place opened yesterday.

Eater

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#6 oakapple

oakapple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,113 posts

Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:37 PM

Eater's commenters savage the restaurant's decor. And, they haven't even gotten to the food yet.

People savaged Del Posto too, and today it has four stars. The effect in person is sometimes different than what the photos suggest.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#7 nuxvomica

nuxvomica

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,489 posts

Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:45 PM

how they're going to fill up that place on a regular basis, i don't know. the menu does not offer anything different from tons of Italian places in the city, although the braised veal agnolotti with mushrooms were delicious - easily the best dish we had in a restaurant in a while. but the warm duck salad had too many ingredients competing with the duck, itself very good, and the oxtail pasta was underseasoned and also could have done without the roasted parsnips (see the duck salad).

the service is too tightly wound, too hovering (literally waiting for the last sip of wine a step away from the table to snatch the glass), too aloof and superior while frantic - it lacked warmth and could relax just a bit. our waiter's style, frankly, stressed me out. still does :lol:

luckily, the manager saved some of the experience and the agnolotti were absolutely delicious.
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#8 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,611 posts

Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:58 PM

Alex at the Wynn seemed to me, in several visits, to be very attentive in service, but not hovering. The staff to table ratio was pretty high there. I'm surprised that NY, with its higher costs, would try to maintain the same level.

Food was always of a high caliber, and often had layered flavors. You'd be a taste of this, and a taste of that in the back your mouth. I always enjoyed the effect.

I suspect they'll settle down to a regular routine in a few weeks.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#9 oakapple

oakapple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,113 posts

Posted 07 December 2011 - 03:08 PM

I can definitely understand the doubts about how the place will stay full: upscale Italian is the most over-saturated market segment in the city. Not everyone can be Michael White.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#10 nuxvomica

nuxvomica

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,489 posts

Posted 07 December 2011 - 03:43 PM

it's a large and difficult space - something they'll have to overcome rather than having the space work for them. loud, too, although perhaps less than Gonzo. then again, it wasn't very busy last night and last time i was at Gonzo it was packed - too loud for conversation. doesn't feel like NYC, either.

oh, forgot to say they are doing 15% off food right now for "soft opening." Alas, Strata was MIA.

i hope they do well but the challenges are there.
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#11 nuxvomica

nuxvomica

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,489 posts

Posted 07 December 2011 - 03:54 PM

wow, i just noticed something looking at what must have been the pre-opening menu (or menu for the press purposes?)- they simplified A LOT. can i go to a restaurant with THAT menu?

Menupages vs current menu
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#12 oakapple

oakapple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,113 posts

Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:38 AM

We were there a couple of weeks ago (blog post here). I think Nux has it right: the preview menu was more interesting than the current menu, and the current menu is far too generic. The food is well made, for what it is, but yawn-inducing. What does the restaurant offer that dozens of others do not?

Batali and Bastianich could get away with this; Michael White could; Vongerichten could; all on the strength of their reputations. I don't think Alex Stratta can. He is perhaps the best example I've seen of a Michelin-starred chef who "goes casual," and loses not just the formality, but everything else of interest, as well.

My guess is that advisers told him that if he wanted to succeed in NYC, casual was the only option. That could very well be true. But the chefs who nail casual realize that you have to actually do something with it. Stratta gives us well made contemporary Italian without any trappings, culinary or otherwise, that would elevate his restaurant over the mine run of others in the same genre.

Mind you, there is nothing Stratta is doing that's actively bad. But he apparently doesn't realize how many other restaurants in town are doing the same thing, more-or-less equally well.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal

#13 uhockey

uhockey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts

Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:46 PM

We were there a couple of weeks ago (blog post here). I think Nux has it right: the preview menu was more interesting than the current menu, and the current menu is far too generic. The food is well made, for what it is, but yawn-inducing. What does the restaurant offer that dozens of others do not?

Batali and Bastianich could get away with this; Michael White could; Vongerichten could; all on the strength of their reputations. I don't think Alex Stratta can. He is perhaps the best example I've seen of a Michelin-starred chef who "goes casual," and loses not just the formality, but everything else of interest, as well.

My guess is that advisers told him that if he wanted to succeed in NYC, casual was the only option. That could very well be true. But the chefs who nail casual realize that you have to actually do something with it. Stratta gives us well made contemporary Italian without any trappings, culinary or otherwise, that would elevate his restaurant over the mine run of others in the same genre.

Mind you, there is nothing Stratta is doing that's actively bad. But he apparently doesn't realize how many other restaurants in town are doing the same thing, more-or-less equally well.


Thanks for the link.

Having dined at Alex at The Wynn and walking out of Stratta because A) the service was terrible, B) it was crazy loud, and C) the menu was boring in a city where reservations are unnecessary even for the best restaurants in the city (on most nights) I think you really hit the nail on the head here. Alex was a beautiful space with really great food produced in a way that Chef Stratta is quite capable of while Stratta was meant to compete with the Emeril, Wolfgang Puck, etc that are found all over Las Vegas. It was common "casual" Italian and the Bigoli menu looks very similar.

Given his credentials and skills I think Alex would be much better off attempting soemthing like Benno with Lincoln - a menu that can often change day to day and a menu that has some "standard" dishes but also runs the gammut from esoteric presentations of offal to high quality vegetables prepared with relative simplicity.

At first I was excited that I'd be visiting shortly after Bigoli opened, but looking at the menu and the prices I'd much sooner check out Torrisi, Ciano, or Lupa - or return to Lincoln, Ai Fiori, Scarpetta, or Babbo.

#14 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,611 posts

Posted 17 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

One difficulty with the Bigoli concept is Alex Stratta doesn't plan to stay in NY following the launch. Although he'll keep tabs on it, the place will be run on a day to day basis by another chef. I suspect that introduces a level of difficulty in local, seasonal, changes daily menu structuring.

Unlike Lincoln, where Benno is in the kitchen, in the markets, looking at plates (esp as they come back), a remote location seems to work better when there's a set menu, set way to prepare it, etc.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#15 oakapple

oakapple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,113 posts

Posted 17 January 2012 - 03:34 PM

One difficulty with the Bigoli concept is Alex Stratta doesn't plan to stay in NY following the launch. Although he'll keep tabs on it, the place will be run on a day to day basis by another chef. I suspect that introduces a level of difficulty in local, seasonal, changes daily menu structuring.

But if you're going to run a restaurant on that model, you've gotta ask: "What are you offering that will make people want to come back?" The fact that Stratta doesn't plan to remain here is his problem, not ours.

The Batali models at places like Esca, Casa Mono, and Del Posto, might be a useful comparison. No one has any illusion that Mario actually cooks at these places, even though they're nominally his restaurants. But he installs real chefs and gives them a wide berth to run those kitchens as they see fit.

Of course, by now Batali has such a reputation that he can open just about anything and watch it turn to gold. There's nothing distinctive about the Eataly restaurants (except Manzo), but they're perpetually packed. I don't think Alex Stratta has the international reputation that would allow him to do the same.
Marc Shepherd
Editor, New York Journal