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I think it's absolutely deserving of the third star, but my recent experience left such a bad taste in my mouth on the service side that I will most likely not return.

 

I'll assume the blame, as I did arrive close to 20 minutes past my reservation. But when I was handed the menu at the end of the meal, I noticed that I'd missed the first two courses of the meal, and yet I'd still paid $195. No one said anything to me when I first walked into Blanca, nor during the meal. I even asked the Roberta's host who walked me over, saying, "I'm terribly sorry for being late, do you know if I missed anything?" to which he responded, "no, I don't think so."

 

I realize that there's a balletic performance taking place in the kitchen that must not be interrupted, but how about just charging me less if you're not going to serve those courses?

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Platt's three star review (out of five).   Seating (obviously my number one concern):     Aged meats? Check.     Odd thing about this review, although Platt clearly likes some dishes, he d

Would it deter or encourage people to lay out $180 plus tax, tip and beverages, and undergo the reservations ordeal he describes? Doesn't that need orgasmic?

It's a little weird that parts of the site are built like single-page apps with Backbone.js (i.e. the restaurant-specific reservation pages), while others look to largely be generated server-side (e.g

That's a tough one, Gerry.

 

They should have been up front with you. In fact, I specifically recall that when I made my long-ago reservation at Blanca, I was told that if I was late, the meal would commence without me, that I'd have to pick up at the point at which I'd entered, and that I'd nevertheless be charged for the whole meal. (I remember this because I took someone there who is habitually late to things, and I had to beg her to be on time for this dinner.) They should have told you that, too.

 

Having said that, though, I think that policy is fully justified (and God knows I hate to side with a mandatory tasting-menu dining-counter place about anything). They've already paid for the ingredients for the dishes you missed, whether you've eaten them or not. It's not as if they can do anything else with them. If you're late, why should they bear the loss?

 

(Anyone who wants to point out an inconsistency between the foregoing opinion and my strongly held opinion against cancellation fees should note that I oppose cancellation fees principally when they aren't accompanied by a reasonable cancellation period.)

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We were emailed the day previous, I think, and it was stressed we should arrive at least 15 minutes before the reserved time, else we might miss the opening courses. I believe we got inside round 8.50, and there was only one couple already there. It's quite possible the last party wasn't seated till 9.05, and the first course didn't come out until a few minutes later.

 

Blanca never telephoned to confirm the reservation, etc, which I thought a little odd given that it's a somewhat serious booking.

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Obviously, they erred in not telling you. But I tend to agree with Sneakeater, and unfortunately this is pretty much a constant with these counter-only places. If you arrive late, you can't make up the courses you missed; and you're still charged for them, because the restaurant can't do anything with the unused food.

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I think we need to view this type of situation the way we view tickets to a show, ballet, opera, etc. Come in late, you miss whatever you miss, and there is no refund. That said, from my experiences with long form tasting menus, the initial courses tend to be very small and often cold. When that is the case, perhaps those courses could be left on the counter for a latecomer.

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I think we need to view this type of situation the way we view tickets to a show, ballet, opera, etc.

 

People object because it's an alteration to the usual social compact. We have come to expect that restaurants will charge us only for what we were served; but that operas do not re-start to accommodate late patrons.

 

It's the same reason why some people think it's terrible to have to pay in advance for a "ticket" to a restaurant, even though they'd gladly purchase a ticket to a concert.

 

I like "counter-style" dining — my wife actually prefers it over old-skool fine dining — but there has been a real loss of service, compared to what the traditional high-end places do.

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Agree with all of these points, and I think I did expect that something like this might happen while I was stuck in traffic on the way over, but I would have preferred knowing about it when I sat down. I don't think it's always implied -- I was at Brooklyn Fare for NYE when a couple arrived late (like, staff had to come unlock the doors late). Perhaps they were regulars, but Cesar told them not to worry, and while I lost track, they were seemingly able to have the entire meal.

 

I still maintain that the chefs at Blanca could've shaved a few extra slices of guanciale in my direction, or, like Rozrapp said, leave the courses waiting (although I'm not going to ask a kitchen to sacrifice its integrity by serving something at the wrong temperature).

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It does seem like they ought to be able to leave you the courses you missed, no? At least so long as they're as rozrapp describes.

 

Food left standing starts to degrade almost immediately. Even a cold dish that has been sitting out for 10–15 minutes isn't exactly what it was when first plated.

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Pete Wells awards three stars, correcting an earlier two-star review that most people considered erroneous.

 

(Due to a bug on the NYT website, the earlier review shows as three stars, but it definitely wasn't at the time.)

 

It's funny how much of a douche he manages to be about it - rather than admitting he was wrong, he's making up all kinds of stuff about how things have improved.

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It's annoying, but they do that all the time. I guess it should be less annoying when they do it when correcting a prior incumbent's mistakes -- but to me it always seems more annoying, when they struggle to identify some "objective" reason to justify their changing a prior reviewer's rating.

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Still very good. In particular the pasta is now on par with Ladner's best, and there was a stronger than usual Calabrian thread to the meal, which was refreshing. Laughed out loud when the check came out to exactly, to the dollar, 20% more than at LC. Comped a couple of glasses of Tokaj.

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