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#1111 oakapple

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 04:52 PM

I think this is good news, on the whole, for diners -- although I can't help suspecting that Will and Daniel ought to have their heads examined.

I'm still not clear how you think this is better for diners.
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#1112 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:28 PM

I guess it depends on the deal, i.e., how much is Humm/Guidara's and how much is the RE guys'. I've seen the Meyer connection as the Achilles's heal of EMP.
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#1113 mitchells

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 07:48 PM

When if ever has a 4 star NYC restaurant been sold?

Just a prediction if this happens: EMP will not be as good as it was during Meyer's ownership.

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#1114 oakapple

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:03 PM

Sneakeater wrote in the Eater comments:

I always thought that EMP's greatness was DESPITE Danny Meyer. His best work is so much more pedestrian than this.

It's interesting you would say that. It was Meyer who decided Kerry Heffernan had to go, and recruited Humm. And Meyer had to approve all of the various upgrades, starting from what Humm inherited, to get the place up to four stars.

Until relatively recently, Meyer was best known for a series of high-end places (Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Tabla, The Modern). All except The Modern dining room had three stars, and The Modern was certainly intended to be in that club. At the time it was built, it was probably the group's most upscale place (EMP didn't have three stars yet). It is also well known that they coveted four stars at Gramercy Tavern.

Before he started opening Shake Shacks on every street corner, Blue Smoke was his only casual place. The man isn't stupid, and it certainly makes sense that he has diversified since then. His last several places are no longer in the fine dining idiom, either because of the economy, or because he wanted a bit more balance in his portfolio: Maialino, Untitled, and Floyd Cardoz's new place in Battery Park City.

But it certainly seems like revisionist history to suggest EMP is out of his comfort zone. GT and The Modern, at the very least, seemed to be attempts to hit four stars or very high three, and for a while Tabla was considered influential.
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#1115 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:10 PM

GT is EXACTLY why I think EMP is out of his comfort zone, though.
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#1116 oakapple

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

GT is EXACTLY why I think EMP is out of his comfort zone, though.

The Modern, though, is somewhat similar to EMP. Now, I realize that EMP has evolved, and getting four stars has enabled them to take some risks they wouldn't have otherwise considered. But both have a continental vibe (including their chefs) not shared by Gramercy Tavern or any of his other places. Until EMP got four stars, The Modern was probably his most upscale place.
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#1117 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:24 PM

I thought The Modern was out of his comfort zone, too. And I never thought The Modern was an unalloyed success. I don't like GT very much, but I think it's much closer to Danny Meyer's vision of upscale dining than The Modern is. And I think it works, for what it's trying to do, better than I think The Modern does for what it's trying to do.
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#1118 g.johnson

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:29 PM

I rather agree with Sneakeater. I'm not the only person to think that Meyer dumbs down everything he touches and I suspect that part of this involves restricting food costs to a greater extent than his chefs would like. Cf. Kreuther at Atelier and at The Modern or Colicchio at GT and at Craft. Although he may have given Humm a bit more rope, I don't think it's out of the question that he's uneasy with the lower margins that that involves.
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#1119 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:35 PM

That's exactly what I think.
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#1120 oakapple

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:36 PM

I rather agree with Sneakeater. I'm not the only person to think that Meyer dumbs down everything he touches and I suspect that part of this involves restricting food costs to a greater extent than his chefs would like. Cf. Kreuther at Atelier and at The Modern or Colicchio at GT and at Craft. Although he may have given Humm a bit more rope, I don't think it's out of the question that he's uneasy with the lower margins that that involves.

I've no argument with the general thrust of this, although I don't think either Atelier or Craft was a Meyer production.
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#1121 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:37 PM

That's what I meant by "it all depends on the deal." It all depends on how hands-off the NoMad guys are going to be.

It really helps their brand at their real estate development (I can't remember if it's a hotel or an apartment building) brand if their in-house food guys have a universally revered 3-M-star 4-NYT-star off-site restaurant.
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#1122 g.johnson

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:38 PM


I rather agree with Sneakeater. I'm not the only person to think that Meyer dumbs down everything he touches and I suspect that part of this involves restricting food costs to a greater extent than his chefs would like. Cf. Kreuther at Atelier and at The Modern or Colicchio at GT and at Craft. Although he may have given Humm a bit more rope, I don't think it's out of the question that he's uneasy with the lower margins that that involves.

I've no argument with the general thrust of this, although I don't think either Atelier or Craft was a Meyer production.

That's my point. Ingredients and execution are much better without the influence of Meyer.
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#1123 changeup

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:43 PM

That's what I meant by "it all depends on the deal." It all depends on how hands-off the NoMad guys are going to be.


But.. really? We don't know how a NY restaurant deal is going to go for real estate people in this economy? If you had to wager on "new real estate thing" vs. "danny meyer empire", I know I'd want the latter as my sugar daddy.

Having said that, it seems we are due for a recall on a Shake Shack or two sometime right around now.

#1124 oakapple

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:43 PM

I'm not the only person to think that Meyer dumbs down everything he touches. . . .

This whole "dumbing down" meme is more-or-less flatly contradicted by what he did at Eleven Madison Park. I realize you don't like GT at all (and neither do I), but I am willing to accept that as a taste I haven't acquired.
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#1125 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:45 PM

But the problem is, he didn't do it perfectly at EMP. The service is STILL out-of-whack with the style of food.
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