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The Platt Thread

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Despite the ranting by Josh Ozersky, Le Caprice is actually not easy to get into. It has a loyal international following which does not read food blogs. I am looking forward to going, but not sure when.

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I have tried to get reservations at Le Caprice several times, but it was never available when I wanted to go. It is about the last place I would have expected to get two stars from the Plattster.

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A colleague tried, a week in advance, to make a lunch reservation. He asked for 12:30, was told to come at noon. I split the difference, he said to me, and showed up at 12:15. He liked it but he is no indicator, is a guy for whom it is all about who's in the room.

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The annual ramble which appears under the Platt byline - Where to Eat (2010) - but is surely composed by a team of metaphorical catamites (see below) while the master beats a drum to keep rhythm - is with us again.

 

Nothing quite as good as April Bloomfield being home-grown New York talent this year, but some notable aberrations:

 

[Minetta Lane's] pig's trotter, which the kitchen debones, simmers, and serves the way Parisian brasseries do, in a delicately crunchy crust.

 

Hands up who thinks deboned trotters are generally served in Parisian brasseries.

 

...the original smash burger at Danny Meyer's hallowed Shake Shack...

 

Original? Er, no, clearly not - and arguably not a "smash" burger at all (research suggests it's pressed once on the grill).

 

The great French chef Cyril Renaud...

 

Well I think the world of Cyril, but...

 

...tiny-boned segments of fried quail [at SHO]

 

Right. I hate those big-boned quail you see everywhere.

 

David Chang's constantly evolving flagship restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar.

 

That's the flagship? Really? I thought that was the place with the "arcane internet reservation system."

 

As for the catamites, their phrase of the year is "surprisingly accomplished." They are surprised, for some reason, that the menu at travertine is "accomplished." Surprised again that Abe & Arthur is an "accomplished" operation. They take it in their stride, however, when confronted by Vinegar Hill House. This is an accomplished "little restaurant," and nothing surprising about it.

 

This reminds me of when London Time Out's comedy listings were produced by rotating two or three set phrases, so that in any one week you could see comedians who were "accomplished," "surprisingly accomplished," "accomplished and funny" and "surprisingly funny."

 

Looking forward to 2011.

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If Platt has ever written a well informed piece, I seem to have missed it.

 

 

can you explain to me, part of the unwashed masses, why Platt offends you so?

 

is the answer in your blog? (I'm kidding. Mostly.)

 

I'm sure you've mentioned why in the past...I'm not as informed as you are though. At least with regards to the NYC dining scene these days.

 

 

is it like...Yelp writing?

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If Platt has ever written a well informed piece, I seem to have missed it.

Can you explain to me, part of the unwashed masses, why Platt offends you so?

He is like Bruni, in that he came to the job without a food background. Like Bruni, he puts a Michelin three-star meal and a good fried chicken on the same plane, but he likes the chicken better. Bruni, at least, was able to write knowledgeably about some of the territory he covered: Italian cuisine, for instance; steak, for another. I haven't yet found the branch of culinary arts in which Platt writes with any authority at all. He isn't merely a clueless proletarian; he makes a lot of outright mistakes.

 

In addition, Bruni was at least enthusiastic about some kinds of restaurants. Most of Platt's reviews have a sense of aching world-weariness. He seldom seems to really like a place. Though his scale has five stars, to the Times's four, my sense is that he has given three stars less often than the Times; he has given four only once (Momofuku Ko), and he has never given five.

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If Platt has ever written a well informed piece, I seem to have missed it.

Can you explain to me, part of the unwashed masses, why Platt offends you so?

He is like Bruni, in that he came to the job without a food background. Like Bruni, he puts a Michelin three-star meal and a good fried chicken on the same plane, but he likes the chicken better. Bruni, at least, was able to write knowledgeably about some of the territory he covered: Italian cuisine, for instance; steak, for another. I haven't yet found the branch of culinary arts in which Platt writes with any authority at all. He isn't merely a clueless proletarian; he makes a lot of outright mistakes.

 

In addition, Bruni was at least enthusiastic about some kinds of restaurants. Most of Platt's reviews have a sense of aching world-weariness. He seldom seems to really like a place. Though his scale has five stars, to the Times's four, my sense is that he has given three stars less often than the Times; he has given four only once (Momofuku Ko), and he has never given five.

 

 

Humm...

 

Makes me wonder if part of his outlook is editorial. The disdain (if that's the correct word) for high-end/more than informal food seems suspect.

 

I thought the same for Mr. Big but now speculate that some of his biases might have been genuine.

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Humm...

 

Makes me wonder if part of his outlook is editorial. The disdain (if that's the correct word) for high-end/more than informal food seems suspect.

I doubt that it is editorial. We receive the print version of New York at home, and my g/f reads the entire magazine. We don't find Platt's attitude reflected in the other material the magazine prints. Historically, New York is pitched at readers with high disposable incomes; snob appeal drips from many of its pages. It is not the magazine where you would expect to find an Adam Platt. For them, he is an anomaly.

 

Of course, it's worth noting that New York's founding restaurant critic was Gael Green. It may well be that after decades of Gael, management wanted the "anti-Gael," and they sure got it. (There was a brief interregnum when Hal Rubenstein was the critic, but as I recall he wasn't there for very long.)

 

Mind you, even if NYM management was actively looking for someone like Adam Platt, the best strategy would have been to find someone who writes that way naturally, not someone who is putting on an act. Much as I detest Platt's writing, I do believe that it is sincere.

 

I thought the same for Mr. Big but now speculate that some of his biases might have been genuine.

I am positive that they were genuine. Honestly, when the Times gave the job to Bruni, I don't think they knew what they were getting. They would never admit it was a mistake, but when you look at Sifton, it's pretty clear that they weren't looking for another Bruni.

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Surprised that the Best of New York food section this year has no Platty byline. His name usually adorns any of these multi-page reviews, regardless of whether they seem to be patched together by interns or not.

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Surprised that the Best of New York food section this year has no Platty byline. His name usually adorns any of these multi-page reviews, regardless of whether they seem to be patched together by interns or not.

Hopefully this is a sign that NYMag management have finally woken up and are planning on firing him for incompetence.

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Surprised that the Best of New York food section this year has no Platty byline. His name usually adorns any of these multi-page reviews, regardless of whether they seem to be patched together by interns or not.

 

too busy tweeting

 

 

generally Best of is Rob & Robin, Platt does the Where to Eat Now

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We were looking at it last night, and the g/f laughed when "Locanda Verde" was named for "best baked goods." Now, Locanda Verde does indeed have a pretty good pastry chef, but best?

 

Of course, to NYM, "best" means "best that has a lot of recent buzz." Otherwise, they'd be honoring mostly the same places year after year.

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