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Juni gets a website.   From the Times article:     Opens Monday in the Hotel Chandler in midtown.

20+40+15=60.   Oh dear. Or rather, "huh"?

Why not stop over-ordering?   And three starters at Juni would be more expensive than The Elm unless you ordered the three most expensive small plates at The Elm.

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I'm going to take the Adrian tack here and say that, while Juni was a good restaurant, and one that I enjoyed (and went to more than once), it really did feel self-consciously out-of-place. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like the place, but... well, it felt like an awkward, out-of-place import.

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I'm going to take the Adrian tack here and say that, while Juni was a good restaurant, and one that I enjoyed (and went to more than once), it really did feel self-consciously out-of-place. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like the place, but... well, it felt like an awkward, out-of-place import.

 

It didn't feel in any sense "imported" to me. I could understand that complaint more about SHO, since Hergatt had no NY presence before it opened; the Setai was obviously an international chain; and the décor, as Platt put it, featured "the kind of random trinkets ­(Chinese calligraphy brushes, necklaces from Tibet) that you find in anonymous international-airport hotels in places like Singapore and Dubai."

 

The flip-side of "out-of-place" is the tendency of all new restaurants to follow one of a handful of established models, which makes them "of-this-place," and usually not terribly interesting. But when you do what no one else is doing, you run the distinct risk of being the restaurant too few people want, and that has now happened to Hergatt twice.

 

As for awkward: there, I have to agree, and I write this as a Hergatt fan, which Adrian is not. Here's what I wrote on NY Journal:

 

 

There’s a bit of the “cult of the chef” in evidence: “The chef has selected…” “The chef has prepared…” “The chef recommends…” I don’t mind, but who are they trying to impress? Even at Per Se, they don’t do that. Just tell us what it is; we already know the chef selected it.

 

The menu requires some explanation. Sixteen dishes without prices are arranged in five unlabeled categories. You eventually figure out which ones are appetizers, mains, etc., but it’s not spelled out. You can have four courses ($90), six ($120), or ten ($180). Only for the ten-course tasting are the dishes spelled out; for the others, you get to choose. For the others, I think there are rules (e.g., one course always has to be dessert), but I’m not sure exactly what combinations from the five categories are allowed.
On top of that, you can order à la carte: $20 for appetizers, $40 for mains, $15 for desserts. That’s too many options, and betrays some indecision on the chef’s part. In a year or two, I suspect some of those choices will disappear. The à la carte option feels like a sop for grazers, but I am not sure it’ll work: $40 feels too punishing a price for entrees....
Juni isn’t built for snacking. With coffee and a modest bottle of wine, our bill came to $320. I am a Hergatt supporter, and even I can’t do this very often. At these prices, regulars are harder to attract and keep.

 

When you design your menu like that, you have very little room for error. The experience of SHO did not suggest that the market would give Hergatt the benefit of the doubt. He would've been better off opening more modestly, and earning loyalty from the market, rather than acting as if he already had it.

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  • 1 month later...

A place where cultural irrelevance doesn't matter! Is, in fact, called for!

Or if you look at it another way, it makes the most culturally relevant statement possible (at least for those who loved his food): money can buy happiness. :P

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  • 3 years later...

Now he's at the Surf Lodge in Montauk.

I just looked at the menu. His title is “Culinary Director.” I imagine he can fulfill the requirement of that position, i.e., design the menu, while remaining the chef at the private restaurant in the Park Ave. apartment building.

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