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First night of soft open at Racines NYC tonight (French people not really groking Pesach) made me very optimistic. The space is extremely pleasant, and the food was very impressive. Service was rocky, but one of the partners confessed to me that one waiter and one runner were no-shows.

 

We'll see where it goes, but there is a lot of potential. And the place is four blocks from my apartment.

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First night of soft open at Racines NYC tonight (French people not really groking Pesach) made me very optimistic. The space is extremely pleasant, and the food was very impressive. Service was rocky

But I come here for the 12 pages of baseless speculation!

I think the first and the last courses could read better (now that I know what the words mean) but both the early corton dishes and the dishes at the elm were described with a similar number of words

PS--the wine list wasn't together yet, so one of the owners took a couple of us down to the cellar and let us grab stuff. One owner is contributing his collection, and there is some brilliant wine headed to the list.

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Allow me to deflate some of enthusiasm surrounding this place. :D Also, it was only their second night in business, so take this with a grain of salt.

 

Went to Racines with a date last night. Arrived a little after 8. The place was pretty crowded - most tables were full, but they managed to squeeze us in. (I didn't make a reservation.) Nice room. Lots of exposed brick, wood, and earth tones. Open kitchen. No tablecloths. Looks like pretty much any NYC restaurant opening these days.

 

The service was comically bad. We ordered two courses, but we were there for more than two hours. The wine that I wanted to order (a white 2008 burgundy that seemed like a good deal), they were out of. So the waiter said they had the same thing from 2010 - then he came back 10 minutes later and said they didn't have that, but they had a 2012. Anyway, I ordered something else (a 2008 from the Jura region for $69, which was very good), but it arrived a few minutes after the appetizers.

 

The first thing that his the table though was an amuse of cold celery and leek soup, garnished with chopped nuts (almonds, I think). It was ok. Pretty bland.

 

No bread ever hit the table, by the way.

 

For appetizers I ordered the squid a la plancha, she ordered the artichoke ravioli. I didn't try any of her food, but she commented that she thought the ravioli were a little undercooked, but they were alright. The squid a la plancha looked nice on the plate, but was otherwise really ordinary and a bit rubbery. The best part of the plate was really the garnish of lomo.

 

She ordered the monkfish as a main, I ordered the mangalitsa pork. She commented that the monkfish was better than the appetizer, but still not particularly great ("it's missing something"), and maybe was underseasoned ("maybe I ordered wrong", she said). The mangalitsa pork ($31) was a single pork chop, presented sliced off the bone, with a cider vinegar gastrique. Off to the side it also had a little pigs feet croquette and a garnish of ramps. This was certainly a more successful dish than the squid a la plancha, but still didn't rise to greatness. The pork was ok, the gastrique was actually really excellent. The croquette was nice, but the ramps were just sort of there (like he didn't know what to do with them, so he just boiled them and threw them on the plate).

 

We passed on dessert. No comps. The bill came in at like $170 before tip.

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