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Has no one noticed that the Ace and the Carlton used to be welfare hotels? But being reclaimed 100+ years old, at least the buildings may have a modicum of charm. The Eventi, as far as I can tell, is a new build, and therefore soulless as well as history-less.

That's true, but the Ace has developed a following that the Carlton, to date, has not. By the same token, I don't see why soullessness ought necessarily to follow as a consequence of being new. Everything was new at some point. What makes it soulless is what they did with it.

For what it's worth, when we tried (and failed) to go to Millesime, the Carlton was pretty damn busy – the bar in front of the restaurant was full and there was some sort of party going on (which was why the restaurant was closed). A lot of PAS-y types but still.

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right - but the point is that the success of the Breslin is about more than the Breslin. The entire complex was engineered to appeal to a very particular demo and was succesful in appealing to that demo before the Breslin showed up. I have friends who love the bar scene there but never eat at the Breslin.

 

Those other places are much less holistic in their marketing approaches. Its a testament to the people who developed the ace more than anything else.

 

I agree with this. I was going to post something like it myself.

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Has no one noticed that the Ace and the Carlton used to be welfare hotels? But being reclaimed 100+ years old, at least the buildings may have a modicum of charm. The Eventi, as far as I can tell, is a new build, and therefore soulless as well as history-less.

 

So that's part of why the Ace's developers may be smarter than the Eventi's: it's not an accident that the Ace's premises are so much more inviting than the Eventi's. In fact, that's part of the point I was trying to make. The Ace organization (along with Friedman -- and Stumptown) really accomplished something there. I don't think it just happened.

 

Also, to pile on with oakapple, the problem with the Eventi isn't that it's new construction. It's that it's poorly designed, shitty, cheesy new construction. As for new builds' necessarily precluding success at becoming a scene, I refer you to The Standard. As for new builds' becoming significant -- if not necessarily beloved -- parts of the skyline, I refer you to the Four Seasons Hotel.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Ok I'm late to the party but I've finally eaten at the Breslin. After reading this, you'll think that I hated it but in reality I gave the experience a B+ and would return again.

 

Knowing that it was going to be a mad house on Saturday night, my friend and I arrived super-early for dinner. By 6pm the bar area was already packed and the dining room was starting to fill up, but we were seated immediately. Our waiter Bobby* was highly pierced and has perfected the way too friendly and intimate waiting style that I really hate. If he wasn't crouching down to eye height for a chat, he was actually plunking down at the table like he was a long lost friend. Bobby had a lot to say ** so you'll hear extensively about him.

 

Bobby first came by to take our order, asking if we had any questions. My friend had a question about red wines by the glass and this was just what Bobby had been waiting for his entire life. He launched into the history of Long Island wines, comparing their eco-system with that of Burgundy and ended with their long term chances at going organic.***

 

Bobby left us to mull over life and LI wines and we started to create our menu battle plan.

 

We had decided to order the beef and stilton pie, small terrine board and lamb/feta burger however we asked Bobby if we could just start with the terrine board and mosey on from there depending on our hunger level. "Oh if it was just up to me, you could do anything you wanted but the kitchen..." Bobby then proceeded to tell us how tickets work in a kitchen, how the kitchen would crumble into chaos, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would come galloping through the dining room if we even thought about not placing our order all at once. Got it.

 

Bobby assured us that he wouldn't dream of rushing us out, the table was ours until we finished the last morsels on our plates and all our items would not come out at the same time.

 

He then launched into the specials - (delivered while crouched at eye-height, of course) - which took approximately 7 minutes for 4 specials. He asked if we had any questions to which we reflexively responded NO!

 

First came the beef and stilton pie, probably the best bite of the evening. A lovely little morsel - when you got just the right combo of beef/stilton and crust, it was outstanding.

 

Next up the terrine board. Not so successful. First problem was that 3 of the terrines tasted exactly the same: you could've blind folded me and I would not be able to tell the difference between the rabbit, pork and pheasant. They all just tasted like waxy, fatty meat. I mean we ate every bit of the waxy, fatty meat but still. The liverwurst and headcheese were the only meats on the board that actually tasted of something more than generic meat. The bread was grilled with a very assertive olive oil that further interfered with the terrine. And finally, my issue with most terrine boards is that they don't ever give you enough bread or pickles.

 

Next was the lamb burger which we shared, a good decision I think. I wanted to love this but it was over the top salty and I'm a big salt person. I'm hoping that someone in the kitchen that night just had a heavy hand with the salt. The thrice cooked fries (I mean chips) were magnificent. I could sit in the hotel lobby with a pint and those fries any night of the week.

 

So by this time, the restaurant was insanely busy and Bobby went from our BFF to our frenemy. Well not exactly frenemy but let's just say that after we decided no on dessert, Bobby hastily gave us our check without a single backward glance.

 

We had a couple drinks in the lobby, which was also quite the scene. Sadly, the John Dory doesn't seem to be getting any of the residual cool - at 11pm it was just about dead.

 

*I'm sure he told us his name but we immediately forgot it and just called him Bobby.

** At least in the beginning.

*** We later heard his monologue again at the next table.

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Next was the lamb burger which we shared, a good decision I think. I wanted to love this but it was over the top salty and I'm a big salt person. I'm hoping that someone in the kitchen that night just had a heavy hand with the salt.

 

This dish is always extremely salty, as are most of the dishes there.

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That was a great report, Abby.

 

Next was the lamb burger which we shared, a good decision I think. I wanted to love this but it was over the top salty and I'm a big salt person. I'm hoping that someone in the kitchen that night just had a heavy hand with the salt.

 

This dish is always extremely salty, as are most of the dishes there.

 

I think so, too. I saw April Bloomfield make the lamb burger on one of those execrable Colameco shows and she gave it a double handful of salt. While I don't believe for one minute that she wast perpetrating your particular burger that night, it seems to be their style.

 

I wonder if Bobby's multiple piercings were a result of his habit of squatting tableside. It engenders in me an almost uncontrollable urge to stick a fork in Bobby's eye.

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  • 3 months later...

I just checked The Breslin's current menu, as it would be a convenient spot for dinner in the near future.

 

Same old problem. The only tolerable meat entree (for one person) is a steak. I rule out vinegary chicken, of course, and a burger isn't dinner.

 

I'll pass.

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I just checked The Breslin's current menu, as it would be a convenient spot for dinner in the near future.

 

Same old problem. The only tolerable meat entree (for one person) is a steak. I rule out vinegary chicken, of course, and a burger isn't dinner.

 

I'll pass.

Same thing bothers me about John Dory's lunch and (identical) dinner menu. All small plates. Prevents me from going as sometimes I just want a whole fish.

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  • 1 year later...

On The Breslin v. Montreal Trash Food:

 

I'm going to avoid discussion of some of the service flaws*, the technical errors**, or the general quality of the meal***, and get to the point: how does The Breslin compare to PDC, JB, et al? Not well, ultimately. The comparison to PDC is the more natural one. On a pure technical level both PDC and The Breslin can be heavy handed with salt, the difference being that the Frenchiness and trashiness of PDC stands up better to sloppiness in the kitchen than the relatively boujy, Italianate cooking at The Breslin. Interestingly, the cooking at The Breslin is more precise. I couldn't imagine something as perfect as the scotch egg coming out of the PDC kitchen. Joe Beef is an unfair comparison. The ingredients and technique are better across the board. It's a more accomplished restaurant.

 

Technical analyses is less fun and less fair. My sample size at The Breslin is relatively small, my sample size in Montreal is relatively large. The difference between the Montreal places and The Breslin is that The Breslin is humourless. A quail claw or pigs head at PDC is humour and joy, at The Breslin it feels a little more like a test (are you mature enough enough to avoid playing with the claw and appreciate that it is a traditional signal of a high quality ingredient? well no, no I am not, especially with girls at the table). Which isn't to say that The Breslin can't be fun or that I don't fundamentally like it as a restaurant, it's that, like many New York restaurants, it won't have a laugh, it doesn't seem to realize it's absurd. And that's fine at Acme - bitt

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(are you mature enough enough to avoid playing with the claw and appreciate that it is a traditional signal of a high quality ingredient? well no, no I am not, especially with girls at the table).

 

I just want to advise you, in case you think otherwise, that this will NOT change as you get older.

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