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The Bruni Thread


Guest Aaron T

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Compass would have gotten its first review no matter what neighborhood it opened in.

 

why? there are plenty of restaurants at that price point and level of ambition that don't get reviewed. midtown is absolutely riddled with them.

The best indication of the critic's view is what s/he says. No critic said, "Well, there's nothing very important about this restaurant, but it's worth reviewing because it's located in a restaurant wasteland."

 

The first review of the restaurant that would become Compass—it was called Marika at the time—was William Grimes's zero-star review on March 28, 2001. In both that review and a Diner's Journal seven weeks earlier, the décor was what grabbed him. All of that attention can't be because Compass was a good restaurant in a barren neighborhood—because Grimes didn't think it was a good restaurant.

 

Marika got another Diner's Journal on May 25, 2001, because Neil Annis, a former Lespinasse chef, was now in the kitchen. The restaurant was renamed Compass, but with only a light remodeling job and Annis still in the kitchen. Grimes Diner's Journaled it again on April 26, 2002. On July 2, 2002 (with Grimes on leave), Eric Asimov awarded two stars, again citing the Lespinasse connection.

 

Then, as you know, a new celebrity chef came into the kitchen (Katy Sparks), leading to Amanda Hesser's demotion. Two chefs later, and Bruni happened to walk in. I think that brings us up to date.

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Compass would have gotten its first review no matter what neighborhood it opened in.

 

why? there are plenty of restaurants at that price point and level of ambition that don't get reviewed. midtown is absolutely riddled with them.

 

Name a restaurant that opened in Midtown within the last five years at that price point and level of ambition that didn't get reviewed when it opened.

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I think Amalia is the only one on that list that counts.

 

(Monkey Bar fell apart before it could be reviewed.)

 

Otherwise, I think you're underestimating the press hype Compass got (because the owner bought it, not because of the location) and the backstory (rich owner installs stepson in kitchen).

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I skipped the cookie cutter midtown Italians as too easy.

 

Monkey Town (the remix)

Amalia

District

Park Blue

The View

Brasserie Ruhlmann

Fives

Fives and The View both opened more than five years ago, and Brasserie Ruhlmann is a formula French brasserie (the UWS has those, too). After finding that at least three of your seven examples didn't meet the criteria of Sneak's question, I didn't bother to research the remaining four.

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District was reviewed: one star (Grimes - it's older than you think; more than five years).

 

Amalia was dealt with harshly by Bruni outside a review - i.e. considered for review, but rejected. He has noted Monkey Bar dismissively too.

 

I think of Park Blue as a bar: it only has a bar snack menu ("tapas" if you like).

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it's hard to get a handle on when these midtown places opened.

 

so, we still have:

 

Monkey Bar

 

District

 

Amalia

 

Brasserie Ruhlmann.

 

Park Blue

 

check the price points on each of these.

 

I didn't know there was that kind of back story to Compass...but, that of course, actually supports my original point on this thread.

 

 

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Are you skipping my posts?

 

District opened in 2000 and was reviewed by Grimes.

 

Bruni pronounced on Amalia and Monkey Bar in Dining Panties (or his Journal): they weren't overlooked because of location, but dismissed because not worth reviewing.

 

Park Blue serves dinner less than Grayz does.

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Are you skipping my posts?

 

District opened in 2000 and was reviewed by Grimes.

 

Bruni pronounced on Amalia and Monkey Bar in Dining Panties (or his Journal): they weren't overlooked because of location, but dismissed because not worth reviewing.

 

Park Blue serves dinner less than Grayz does.

 

can't keep track.

 

I remembered the Monkey Bar in Dining Briefs or Journal. so? more than one restaurant has been mentioned there and then reviewed later. the point is, they were ambitious, expensive and haven't been reviewed.

 

and then there's all these hotel/midtown business places that are expensive...throw some luxe ingredients on the menu...and open and close with regularity. is Branzino still around? when did that open? what about that Circo place? etc.

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It's not just a matter of the price points. It's a matter of what the kitchen is trying to accomplish.

Which is why I mentioned that Brasserie Ruhlmann is pretty much a formula restaurant. It's the same reason why many steakhouses (regardless of neighborhood) don't get reviewed. If it's just following a formula, and not doing it with any particular distinction, then it's not worth reviewing.

 

The food at Compass has always been fussy. The different chefs have just had different levels of success in fussing.

Oh, Sneak, Sneak...that word, "fussy". It's too Bruni-esque.

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and then there's all these hotel/midtown business places that are expensive...throw some luxe ingredients on the menu...and open and close with regularity. is Branzino still around? when did that open? what about that Circo place? etc.

 

1. Hosteria del Circo has been reviewed at least once, and possibly twice. How could it not be? It's owned by the family that owns Le Cirque.

 

2. The other places you're talking about aren't places with pretentions toward being taken seriously. They're primarily hotel service restaurants. Compass made clear from the start that its owners intended it to be a player. That's why Grimes reviewed it upon opening but slammed it.

 

3. I'll bet Branzino got at least a Diner's Journal blurb.

 

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