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Is formal dining holding its own?


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I wouldn't call Jungsik successful.

 

And even if we do count Jungsik (it's a marginal case*), it's not serving Western cuisine, and is therefore not part of the culture we have been discussing.

 

* On the one hand, Jungsik is still open, so you can't exactly call it a failure. However, in order to stay open, they had to retrench from the original prix fixe-only format. The à la carte options aren't cheap eats, but you can get out of there now for a lot less than the $80 minimum when Wells reviewed it in 2012.

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QUOTE Perhaps the confusion arises because there are new optionsplaces like Momofuku Ssamwhere you get haute European cooking without most of the trappings. But it's a misconception to suggest that

First, anyplace that forces a male to wear ties is out.   Second, anyplace that feels like a Cathedral and forces hushed tones is out.   Third, anyplace the accepts reservations appears to be on

Just because something is a ten-course New Nordic tasting menu, that doesn't make it fine dining. You still have to see how good the ingredients are and the kitchen work is. It could still be ambitiou

 

Actually, not only Atera but Brooklyn Fare -- if we count them as "luxury restaurants", which I think I'd argue you wouldn't.

 

You know, nine years after Degustation opened, the successful dining counter restaurants in New York, taken together, can probably accommodate less than 50 percent of one sitting at Daniel.

 

They're successful in the legitimate, but rather niche sense, of being able to fill 12 or 13 seats. (I think Atera expanded table seating since I was there.)

 

they also solve a rent problem that didn't exist 15 years ago. Or at least not the way it does today.

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As an historical matter, isn't that true for A number of the older four stars like Jean George's and Daniel? The restaurants evolved into four stars through multiple iterations.

 

Jean Georges opened with four stars, right out of the gate.

 

It's true that Daniel did not open with four stars, but it was always a luxury restaurant. It's not like the cases I've mentioned, where a restaurant was originally much humbler, and then started adding the trappings after the great reviews poured in.

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