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Everything posted by oakapple

  1. oakapple

    Death Pool

    We don't seem to have a thread for this place, but The Grocery in Brooklyn is closing. Apparently there's no rent increase or skulduggery behind the scenes: the husband-and-wife team behind the place simply want a break. I never went there, but as I recall, it had stratospheric Zagat ratings (at one time), prompting a rare (at that time) visit to Brooklyn by the NYT critic to find out what the fuss was all about. Alas, the critic saw no reason to revise his previous one-star rating. As I recall, erstwhile MF and eG poster Rich Schulhof was a big supporter.
  2. There's a decent number of Japanese restaurants in NYC where all the staff are Japanese. Do you object to those, as well?
  3. Right. Then why are they even bothering with the "Bonsoir monsieur" stuff? Do we even know that they are? I do not recall it on either of my visits. Maybe taion got that treatment because he had a waiter who actually was French.
  4. If you add gambling and prostitution to Epcot, you get Vegas. And I don't think Epcot is intended as a joke. Of course, not all Vegas hotels are imitations of other places like Venice or New York. Some are more purely "glitz for its own sake," and might be seen as more authentic, assuming anything in Vegas is.
  5. For its first seven years, EMP was an American restaurant, and the chef was Kerry Heffernan. The room was always grand, but it was never (up to that point) fancy French. It was a safe, solid, inoffensive, unremarkable place, where you could bring a coveted client or grandma on her birthday. After Frank Bruni re-reviewed it, and gave two stars, Danny Meyer pushed Heffernan out and brought in a Swiss chef, Daniel Humm. The staff was still primarily American, and if they'd suddenly started Monsieur-ing and Madame-ing the guests, that would have been truly bizarre. There was then a long se
  6. I am certainly not predicting a long, prosperous life for Chevalier. On both of my visits, it seemed that a lot of the guests had followed Masson there, and whatever their reason for coming, it wasn't a young crowd. Unless that changes, Chevalier will become like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch: an ex-parrot. Believe me, I am not under the mistaken impression that this style of dining is suddenly popular again.
  7. The use of "Monsieur" in French restaurants outside of France is a lot older than 1991, and will probably be alive after the rest of us are not.
  8. I don't think that is a remotely accurate characterization of what Chevalier is.
  9. Yes, indeed it CAN be...but an homage and a joke aren't the same things. Paying homage always implies appreciation. But one can make a joke for a wide variety of reasons.
  10. Oh yeah? At least two posters on this thread are not at all sure of that.
  11. Except that...an appreciation pays tribute to something you genuinely respect. It's not a joke. I'm agnostic on the intent at Carbone, but I can't agree that a spoof and an homage are the same thing.
  12. oakapple


    That is precisely my recollection, although I haven't had a main course there in years. When I go now, it's typically for a drink and an appetizer at the bar.
  13. oakapple


    Picholine still "feels like" a heavy 3-course meal type of place, even though others corrected my misimpression that you can't order à la carte there. Bar Boulud "feels like" a place where you can drop in for a glass of wine and a plate of cheese, although of course they'll serve you a full meal too.
  14. oakapple


    As others have noted, Picholine used to have later hours. One must conclude that there aren't enough concert patrons eager to dine out at that time of the evening.
  15. We would find it ridiculous because Gato is a Bobby Flay restaurant, and that's something Flay has NEVER done. Chevalier opened as a Charles Masson restaurant.(*) Masson actually IS French, and this is something he has done for decades. (*) I realize that Masson is leaving -- or has left -- but the pre-opening press featured Masson more than it did Gallante.
  16. The half-timbered framing prevalent on buildings in my neighborhod are an eighteenth-century trope, built in the 1930s. People are always preserving and reviving older styles. I would venture that people will be saying "Bonjour, monsieur" in French restaurants (outside of France) long after mason jar glasses in Brooklyn have gone the way of the dinosaur.
  17. But as Wilfrid and I keep pointing out, these "tropes" — as you call them — are present in all dining styles. For some reason, only the F3 restaurants are singled out for criticism. One could fill a book with Ssäm Bar's tropes. The mason jar glasses at the Williamsburg restaurant we visited for brunch on Saturday...they're a trope too.
  18. oakapple


    I think it was my success in securing a reservation by email that caused Frej to close. We were the daily double: I had one too.
  19. oakapple


    I like the room, but I have never had a full meal that wowed me. I've never had a full meal that was bad, either. It just seems over-priced for what it is.
  20. I think that's precisely it. These F3 places have for so long been unfashionable that every little thing they do is scrutinized, when similar "schtick" — if that's what it is — goes unnoticed at restaurants representing other nations.
  21. I already understand why some people call these restaurants pretentious. And I will just patiently continue to point out why they are mistaken.
  22. La Grenouille has done these things since it opened in 1962. I can hardly imagine it was supposed to stop, because some youngsters find it no longer fashionable. The entire point of the restaurant is NOT to be fashionable, but to faithfully preserve a particular style that many still admire. Chevalier was opened by the guy who came from La Grenouille, and although it is not a plug-and-play reproduction, he brought with him many aspects of the service style that many continue to find comfortable and welcoming.
  23. How it could hinder one's enjoyment to be greeted with "Bonsoir, monsieur," passes my ability to understand. It's rather interesting that on the menu at Marea, the three titled positions listed at the foot of the page are "Chef & Owner", "Executive Chef", and "Chef di Cucina". Now, what exactly would be the point of printing one, and only one, of the three in Italian? Marea has done this since it opened, and I do not recall a word of complaint.
  24. oakapple


    Hadn't checked lately; I certainly recall when you couldn't.
  25. They don't, because they were around long before Epcot ever was. Isn't it better to save your indignation for something that actually IS offensive? I mean, if getting called "monsieur" offends you, then what word do you have for the really awful stuff?
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