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Guest Aaron T

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We didn't find it off-putting, and apparently neither did Bruni, but there's a fine line between charming and pushy. We thought he was on the right side of that line.

 

I haven't tried any of the other places you mentioned. But part of the beauty of La Sirène is that it's so inexpensive, compounded by the fact that you can bring your own wine. At these prices, the menu may have a mixture of hits and misses, and you still don't feel cheated.

 

You know, there was a time when you were posting on eG when we thought you were Mr. Big in disguise.

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In doing so he creates a rankling dissonance, his dishes beseeching a closeness of attention that the frenzied atmosphere doesn’t easily permit.

 

Frank? That's Shakespeare on the other line. He sounded pissed.

 

Leave the iambic pentameter to the professionals.

 

 

the sentence can indeed be arranged as pentameter, but is it iambic?

 

in doing so he creates a rankling

dissonance, his dishes beseeching a

closeness of attention that the frenzied

atmosphere doesn't easily permit.

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Reads more like 3 stars than 2. Really only 1 dish he didn't like. They got slammed on the decor and too much happening on the plate, not the taste of the food. They even got credit for the wine list.

 

Like I said earlier, they should have blasted some Zeppelin to get the 3rd star.

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Guest Aaron T
Reads more like 3 stars than 2. Really only 1 dish he didn't like. They got slammed on the decor and too much happening on the plate, not the taste of the food. They even got credit for the wine list.

 

Like I said earlier, they should have blasted some Zeppelin to get the 3rd star.

 

Or had artificially low prices for the first 3 months... then pull a switcheroo. Then perhaps Bruni would not have gagged at their prices on the UWS.

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So I guess there can't be two "three stars" in row.

Well...I would have thought there couldn't be six stars in one review until he did it (EMP & the Bar Room). But Bruni can time his reviews however he wants. Given the rarity of three-star reviews, it makes sense to space them out a little bit.

 

Reads more like 3 stars than 2. Really only 1 dish he didn't like. They got slammed on the decor and too much happening on the plate, not the taste of the food. They even got credit for the wine list.

While there was only one dish he flat-out disliked, there were many that he found over-wrought.

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Reads more like 3 stars than 2. Really only 1 dish he didn't like. They got slammed on the decor and too much happening on the plate, not the taste of the food. They even got credit for the wine list.

 

Like I said earlier, they should have blasted some Zeppelin to get the 3rd star.

 

Or had artificially low prices for the first 3 months... then pull a switcheroo. Then perhaps Bruni would not have gagged at their prices on the UWS.

if a restaurant looks like it's going for 3 stars it better deliver and bar is set so much higher (than if it doesn't)

 

i wish they had another star there or a 2.5 rating because two stars actually covers a whole span from 1.5 to 2.5 (as in this case) - two stars can men "better than one," "solid two," or "not quite three" - that's not the case with other ratings

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So I guess there can't be two "three stars" in row.

Well...I would have thought there couldn't be six stars in one review until he did it (EMP & the Bar Room). But Bruni can time his reviews however he wants. Given the rarity of three-star reviews, it makes sense to space them out a little bit.

Very true Marc, but that was a special case. EMP was re-review and he had already given The Modern two, he was just doing the bar menu. That's why neither warranted a full review (rightly or wrongly).

 

And I agree with your last statement - that's why I would have been very surprised with a three today.

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if a restaurant looks like it's going for 3 stars it better deliver and bar is set so much higher (than if it doesn't)

That, in a sense, is how it should be. Wilf made the comparison to Dovetail. I am reasonably confident that Dovetail was designed as a two-star concept. By under-playing, it went out and won three from every critic in town. Whether those stars are deserved is a whole other question, but the strategy worked.

 

Eighty One screams "I want three stars" in your face. Obviously that strategy works sometimes (see "Adour"), but the bar is definitely higher.

 

i wish they had another star there or a 2.5 rating because two stars actually covers a whole span from 1.5 to 2.5 (as in this case) - two stars can men "better than one," "solid two," or "not quite three" - that's not the case with other ratings

If you assume, as I believe we can, that the Times isn't going to change their system, then I think the real problem is inflation at the zero and one-star levels. One star is supposed to mean "good," but Bruni's one-star reviews usually don't sound all that good. Zero stars are supposed to mean "satisfactory," but his zero-star reviews seldom sound very satisfied.

 

The consequence is that almost any restaurant is a two-star candidate; few restaurants would truly be happy to receive only one. At the same time, two stars is also the "penalty rating" for three-star wannabes that fell short. So you've got the situation that August and Gordon Ramsay are both two-star restaurants.

 

I also think that Bruni is too price-sensitive, with the consequence that he's a little too willing to hand out bonus stars for earnest, cheap comfort food, while he grades expensive places on a harsh curve. His "casual scale" and his "fancy scale" have a collision point at two stars.

 

Nuts in May, as the saying goes. If Eighty One is a class below Dovetail as a restaurant, I am a turnip.

I must say that, ignoring price and ambiance, I was hard pressed to drive a wedge between them, so I gave 2½ stars to both. The ambiance at Eighty One is much nicer, but you also pay more for it.

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And justifiably so.

 

(T)he high-end New York dining scene is awash in troikas of pork, trilogies of tuna and the like. A meat that does a wholly satisfying turn as a chop, or a fish showcased adequately in a fillet, appears in many guises, as if it’s an actor doing one of those multi-part tours de force.

 

And this is a bad thing? What an extraordinary personal prejudice to foist on the reader. The issue for the critic is surely whether it's done well.

 

The spectacle is impressive to a point, but exhausting, too. Or so I thought as I sifted through a very busy dish of very articulated veal at the new restaurant Eighty One, which presented veal cheek (braised), veal rack (roasted) and yet another hunk of veal rack (slow-poached in olive oil), not to mention some crispy Ibérico ham and something like a half-dozen vegetables.

 

Gilt all over again. Offering different "expressions" of the main ingredient is common currency among top restaurants.

 

©ulinary preening — call it ego food — that may speak less to the satisfaction of customers than to the self-regard of proprietors, who want you to marvel at the effort-per-bite ratio and the variety of techniques at play.

 

I actually think it's okay to take account of technical proficiency when assessing a chef's work. I can grill a single chop at home.

 

The descriptions of dishes immediately following don't reflect a two star rating. Boy, it really does have to be Frankie's way or the highway, doesn't it? I don't want to eat pasta and a chop every night.

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