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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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To at least one critic, Chevalier and Gabrierl Kreuther are more-or-less the same thing:

Ryan Sutton on Twitter:

Can restos like Chevalier + Gabriel Kreuther really command nearly $100 for 3-4 courses when Contra + Semilla ask $68-$75 for 7-10 courses?

Short answer: Kreuther + Chevalier CAN command $$ b/c very different crowds. And course count ≠ quality. But still. Change is in the air.


Now, let's stipulate that Sutton probably hasn't eaten at GK, and we don't know for sure if he's eaten at Chevalier. So, he might be commenting on what he thinks they are, not on what they actually are. But to paraphrase Adrian, he's "reading the signals" they send out, and this is his early take. To him, they are two of a kind.

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I saw that the Baccarat's bar is opening tonight. No date yet for the main restaurant, Chevalier. This is the place Charles Masson will be running, with Shea Gallante in the kitchen. Modern take on

I recall the good old days when I went to a restaurant for the food. Now I have all these other things to worry about to determine if I had a good time.

I've been to that downstairs bar twice, and both times got a seat with no trouble at all.   I went upstairs only once. The bar was such a madhouse that a guy in a suit wouldn't even let me in the do

 

 

This is basically my point - people love fancy French food, just don't package it with bonsoir and Monsieur if you want it to succeed.

Eleven Madison Park is the proof that you're mistaken. They never bonsoir'd or monsieur'd you there. Ever. They never had Charles Masson's butter ritual there. Ever.

 

But suppressing those old-fashioned anachronisms wasn't enough. They had to make the restaurant American. If it were the French restaurant you're claiming it is, they'd scare a lot of people away.

Yes. American, except for the food, the contours of the service (which they made more American, as they should, but is still French in structure), and the menu structure (which they San pelligrinoed but is still pretty damn French).

 

What is "American" about the food at emp? What is "American" about the core menu structure (canapés to colder apps to hotter apps to fish and shellfish to large protein to trou Normand to fruit dessert to chocolate to petite fours)? The service is the most American, but even that is based on a French model.

 

The "American" is because there are negative connotations into "French" in that setting that the restaurant wanted to shed.

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What is "American" about the food at emp?

 

I refer you to the restaurant's website: "Our multi-course tasting menu focuses on the extraordinary agricultural bounty of New York and on the centuries-old culinary traditions that have taken root here."

 

That's not much different from the statement on Ssäm Bar's website: "the philosophy of the food at momofuku ssäm bar is to create an ever-changing menu sourcing and supporting local farms, pulling inspiration from the flavors, cooking techniques and ingredients found worldwide whilst staying true to its new york roots."

 

Both restaurants are trying desperately not to be French. That they use French technique is of no importance, since by that measure Del Posto is French too.

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I refer you to the restaurant's website: "Our multi-course tasting menu focuses on the extraordinary agricultural bounty of New York and on the centuries-old culinary traditions that have taken root here."

 

That's not much different from the statement on Ssäm Bar's website: "the philosophy of the food at momofuku ssäm bar is to create an ever-changing menu sourcing and supporting local farms, pulling inspiration from the flavors, cooking techniques and ingredients found worldwide whilst staying true to its new york roots."

 

Both restaurants are trying desperately not to be French. That they use French technique is of no importance, since by that measure Del Posto is French too.

 

It's not just French technique. It's the French philosophy of dining.

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Obviously I haven't been to Gabriel Kreuther either, but based on the restaurant's he's been associated with in the past, I'd expect the ambience to be closer to Chevalier than to, I don't know, Betony say.

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To at least one critic, Chevalier and Gabrierl Kreuther are more-or-less the same thing:

 

Ryan Sutton on Twitter:

 

Can restos like Chevalier + Gabriel Kreuther really command nearly $100 for 3-4 courses when Contra + Semilla ask $68-$75 for 7-10 courses?

 

Short answer: Kreuther + Chevalier CAN command $$ b/c very different crowds. And course count ≠ quality. But still. Change is in the air.

Now, let's stipulate that Sutton probably hasn't eaten at GK, and we don't know for sure if he's eaten at Chevalier. So, he might be commenting on what he thinks they are, not on what they actually are. But to paraphrase Adrian, he's "reading the signals" they send out, and this is his early take. To him, they are two of a kind.

 

Of course, to state the obvious, THIS is the real problem.

 

Sutton thinks Contra and Semilla are as good as Kreuther and Chevalier. And he seems to think that 10 courses are necessarily better than 4.

 

THAT'S the problem now. THAT'S the enemy.

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Can someone who tweets point out that Kreuther and Chevalier can charge more than Contra and Semilla because their food is better?

 

And the ingredients more expensive. You are absolutely right, of course.

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OTOH, the fact that Chevalier is so alienating (I doubt Kreuther will be) is precisely my problem with it. It virtually BEGS for moronic commentary like that.

 

After 74 pages, we still haven't really found out why Chevalier is supposedly alienating, and The Modern, Marea, etc, not. Nor why it matters if it's alienating Sneak and the Ryan Suttons; after all, La Grenouille, Le Cirque, Aureole, and The Carlyle are all still in business.

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OTOH, the fact that Chevalier is so alienating (I doubt Kreuther will be) is precisely my problem with it. It virtually BEGS for moronic commentary like that.

After 74 pages, we still haven't really found out why Chevalier is supposedly alienating, and The Modern, Marea, etc, not. Nor why it matters if it's alienating Sneak and the Ryan Suttons; after all, La Grenouille, Le Cirque, Aureole, and The Carlyle are all still in business.

How many of those restaurants would you say are cooking relevant food at a high level? Whether chevalier stays in business isn't important, whether the chevaliers and gks can stay and business and serve great and relevant food does.

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