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oakapple

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Everything posted by oakapple

  1. oakapple

    Agern

    I fear that you're right, but hope you're wrong. And I know Wells won't do it...but if Lilia got 3*, I don't see how this wouldn't. Just imagine if Wells gave 3* to every restaurant as good as Il Buco Alimentari.
  2. It's the same sort of exaggeration as claiming that the décor of Chevalier is so ugly that it causes physical discomfort.
  3. oakapple

    Aska

    It's about style. Formality and solemnity are fine. It's about the kind of formality. We've been waiting all our lives for this guy to tell us what kind we want.
  4. Interesting way of wording that. I'd be shocked if I were wrong about this. Moi aussi.
  5. oakapple

    Aska

    I will never forget the pig's blood chips.
  6. Atmosphere matters, and Rum House just doesn't "feel" like a serious cocktail bar, even though the skill of the staff would support it.
  7. oakapple

    Agern

    The food hall in Vanderbilt Hall is now open. The other day, I bought two whole loaves of bread to take home to the family, a rye and a baguette, and they were terrific.
  8. oakapple

    Le Coq Rico

    I didn't say it has never ever happened, but the odds aren't in its favor. If Atherton has indeed pulled that off, then good for him. It doesn't happen very often.
  9. This is an argument that has more resonance for me. Done well, such a concept has every reason to exist, but the attempt here doesn't quite work. It didn't bother me as much as it did other people, but I can see where that argument is coming from. It's a bit like that omelet at Norma's that has $100 worth of caviar on top of it. (If you're really in the mood to splurge, they'll give you the $1,000 version.)
  10. oakapple

    Le Coq Rico

    I've heard connoisseurs say that it does matter who is the pit-master at a barbecue place, and if the founder leaves, it makes a recognizable difference.
  11. Did Taion ever come up with any basis for this, other than his personal revulsion? I looked at several online review sites, and most people like the room. I realize that we don't know who these people are, but most also like the food, and we seem to be perfectly willing to accept that judgment. As I recall, the idea of the Modern was that you have the sculpture garden right outside your window, so the room itself was deliberately muted, to avoid trying to compete with that. Here are the first four paragraphs of Frank Bruni's original review: (That review quickly went downhill,
  12. oakapple

    Le Coq Rico

    What other examples of that principle do we have, other than steakhouses?
  13. oakapple

    Le Coq Rico

    That might be the goal, but as with most chains, something usually is lost with every pass through the Xerox machine. Ducasse's Benoit is a rather unusual case: it took three chefs before the place finally hit its stride, and that chef (Philippe Bertineau) is here full-time. As far as I can tell, the NYC Benoit shares a name with two other Ducasse restaurants, but Bertineau is doing his own thing. Obviously, he stays within a recognizable style, but he's not trying to replicate the menu of someone who is absent. But until Bertineau came along, Benoit was following the usual path of the
  14. Except...you haven't said about Le Turtle, as you did about Chevalier, that it "has no reason to exist."
  15. Wells reported several food flubs. That didn't happen on either of my visits, but that's why he goes three times and tastes other people's food. Up to about the halfway point of the review, he certainly seemed to be describing three-star food. Platt frequently subtracts a whole star for rooms he doesn't like, but Wells seems to feel that the rating should be mostly about the food. I would gather that Wells was prepared to award three stars, but the food had to be just about perfect, and in his experience, it wasn't.
  16. oakapple

    Le Coq Rico

    Just about any restaurant is fairly likely to run off-track, once the founding leader is no longer there regularly. A month or two wouldn't be fatal, but if he were not a consistent presence, I'd bet on a decline.
  17. That's true, but if a place is indeed mediocre, eventually informed comments to that effect will pile up.
  18. In that case, find me others of renowned good taste who've said that.
  19. There is no normative universe in which this is true. Pete Wells called it "pretty". There are no other pro reviews I can find, but I scanned every Yelp review, and practically all had praise for the décor—even those that didn't like the food and/or service. Obviously, one is free to dislike anything, but if it were that bad, you'd expect to find a ton of other people saying the same. By the way, how many other "rooms of that type" did you survey before uncorking that judgment?
  20. I would never send someone there, but Le Turtle does have a destination dish (the chicken) that has shown up on a number of "best of" lists. Frankly, I didn't think the chicken was all that great, but there's no question it has drawn people in — including me.
  21. Gold star. But I will say that Chevalier made a profound error in promoting Masson's participation ahead of Gallante's. No. Because THAT'S THE KIND OF RESTAURANT IT IS. If they had really believed that, they wouldn't have bothered hiring a chef with a recognizable name and actual food industry street cred. Wilf has it right: they wanted Chevalier to be a restaurant that mattered. But promoting Masson as the primary draw was a major error, only made worse because he didn't stay that long.
  22. It's not so much that the food is incidental, but that it's good enough for the purpose. There are two fancy suburban Italian restaurants in my Westchester neighborhood. The food qua food is better at #1, but my wife prefers #2 because the service is more friendly there, and she likes the room better. But the food at #2 still matters: it's close enough to #1 for the non-food reasons to dominate the choice about where to dine when we're in the mood for nearby Italian.
  23. I chose Le Turtle, because Adrian idolizes Taavo Somer, while slamming Chevalier despite never having dined there. Personally, I think Somer is a poseur, but Adrian keeps telling me I'm wrong.
  24. As the argument goes, some restaurants are really social clubs. People go there to party, not because the food is so great.
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