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About oakapple

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  1. Yes, exactly. Although inelegantly phrased, that's what Gordinier is likely getting at. Keller himself has a similar comment in the T&C piece linked above: A good restaurant staff should recognize any diner who makes repeat visits, regardless of who that diner is.
  2. I am sure that is the reason. Chang's reaction doesn't come across very well; but frankly, very few people do, when the subject is an unfavorable review of their restaurant. It's very rare that they are able to come out and say, "Let's face it, we sucked." ETA: After all that, Pete Wells gave it a star, which is the lowest number that Chang has ever received, but still allegedly means "good".
  3. If I'd been lauded the way he has been, it would be tough for it not to go to my head. I well remember the posts here and on eG, shortly after he broke on the scene, and for the next few years thereafter. For a while, people wrote as if he were the Messiah. Jesus Himself could only have dreamed of so many fawning admirers.
  4. It should be noted that almost every Mimi Sheraton review covered two restaurants. Only for "very important" restaurants (usually 4*) would the entire review cover just one restaurant. But one need not go back to Mimi Sheraton. When Frank Bruni started, he wrote a review every Wednesday; plus a "Diner's Journal" on Fridays; plus a "Critic's Notebook" every other month, or so. Those "Critic's Notebook" pieces did not take the place of starred reviews: the weeks they appeared, there generally was a starred review, too. Partway through Bruni's tenure, the DJ column transferred to a blog,
  5. The Times has made its strategy pretty clear: no guesswork is required. They want to be the national paper. A couple of months ago, they introduced a feature called California Today. It is probably not a coincidence that Pete's first starred review outside of NY Metro was in California. I expect that Pete's non-NY reviews will only appear occasionally, and he will only cover restaurants making a claim (even if it's a "failed" claim) to national attention. Westchester restaurants, in contrast, almost never state a claim to importance outside of the local people who visit them. Nothing preve
  6. Today, Pete Wells awards three stars to Cassia in Santa Monica, CA — the first time the paper has bestowed a starred review on a restaurant outside of the New York metro area. It's another step in the direction of, "I write about whatever the fuck I want to write about."
  7. When you are limited to one review a week, you have to decide what constitutes "news". The fact that JoJo is no longer a three-star restaurant is news to no one. It's important, only if you feel the NYT has a moral obligation to keep all of the stars consistent and correct, a duty it relinquished long ago. But ironically, the renovation will probably accomplish what Wilfrid's begging did not: he most likely will review it now.
  8. I don't think so. Whereas we are past the point where formal restaurants can compel their patrons to wear ties, we are not at the point yet where it will feel right to wear shorts.
  9. But when he said that, it was in relation to the typical state of restaurants in NYC 30 years ago.
  10. Per Se is the youngest of them, and it opened 12 years ago.
  11. Isn't that what Sneak said was new about Chanterelle decades ago? I wonder about Montrachet and Bouley too. Not to mention WD-50. Restaurants change. WD~50 never became "formal" the way The Modern is formal, but it moved steadily in that direction, over the years I visited. Bouley today (the version that is about to close) is more formal than Bouley in its previous location, and just might be more formal than the original Bouley (in the space now occupied by Scalini Fedeli), which I never visited. Chanterelle at Harrison street was definitely formal by today's standards
  12. Jacket-only is now so rare, that you have to say it's practically a thing of the past. But restaurants with tablecloths still open with some regularity.
  13. I don't agree with Wilfrid. No tablecloths and jackets are not required, so not formal. The "jacket required" list is down to about 5 places, and it's possible there'll never be another one. And most of those were "jacket and tie," at one time.
  14. I am neutral, since I haven't been there. From the photos alone, I would agree that it seems to fall on the "formal" side of the divide, at least by the standards of restaurant openings in the last 10 years. But I fully understand that the vibe of a place cannot entirely be conveyed by a photo; and there is also a question whether the definition ought to be shape-shifted, just because the last decade has been so hostile (in general) to that type of place.
  15. Calatrava didn't waste billions of dollars. His client did.
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