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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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If it were only one or two of the wine list and the getting... not just monsieured but the full-on "madame, monsieur, bonsoir" and the horrifically ugly decor (why the hell have they not swapped out the red lighting behind the bar yet), I'd want to go to Chevalier regularly, but I just can't. The food and technical aspects of the service are great, but there's too much else about this restaurant that I dislike, altogether aside from the class aspects.

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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

Interesting. I've been to many places over the last few years, mainly downtown and in Brooklyn, for the food but despite decor and service (hi, Roberta's). I'm fine with the decor and service here, and the food is indeed excellent.

 

The re-thought pricing scheme makes it very affordable compared not just with Rebelle but with somewhere like Lowlife.

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I mostly like the service and notch it up in the positives column, but there's no way that "bonsoir" is an appropriate way to greet guests in a restaurant in the US in 2016, regardless of whether the bonsoir-er is of French extraction.

 

The decor is really objectively not-as-good-as-it-should-be. I like most of it, especially their use of beautiful Astier de Villatte pieces, but the lighting is awful. The two main focuses of the lighting are the eye-searing red bar and walls. Those are not where the lighting should be placed. If I look across the table, I want to look at my date, not at the stupidly brightly lit walls.

 

And while the food on its own is a good value, that damn wine list...

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Although worth thinking about why MIMI "hits" but Chevalier "misses".

 

One look at Chevalier, and I could have told you the critics were not going to love it; and that was before I had taken a bite.

 

One look at Mimi, and I could have told you that this was a place the critics "would love to love," if it were any good. (Of course, the chef still had to execute.)

 

It is worth noting that there is a huge gulf in between. Not everything is a critic darling or a failure. Also, Mimi is still quite new. Let's see if it's still a darling in five years.

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One look at Chevalier, and I could have told you the critics were not going to love it; and that was before I had taken a bite.

That's because, at some level, while Chevalier has good food, it's not a good restaurant.

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One look at Chevalier, and I could have told you the critics were not going to love it; and that was before I had taken a bite.

That's because, at some level, while Chevalier has good food, it's not a good restaurant.

 

 

Incorrect.

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I mean in the Adrian sense.

 

Yes, it is not an Adrian restaurant; and he believes that if it's not his kind of restaurant, then it's no one's kind of restaurant.

 

 

I don't know what this means, but I remember quite a few people saying Chevalier's dining room wasn't particularly inviting...and then of course the whole sir/madame schtick (a version of which popped up in this week's NYT Grünauer review)

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I mean in the Adrian sense.

Yes, it is not an Adrian restaurant; and he believes that if it's not his kind of restaurant, then it's no one's kind of restaurant.

What's my kind of restaurant?

 

There are many successful restaurants that are not my kind of restaurant. Probably most.

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I loved the food at Chevalier. But I thought it was "not a good restaurant" because it was a labored attempt to revive a now-dead style that it was incapable of pulling off (and which, I think -- although I know it will offend oakapple for me to say so -- has almost no cultural relevance now whatsoever). If you can see the blood on the lady when the magician pretends to cut her in half, the magic trick doesn't work.

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I mean in the Adrian sense.

Yes, it is not an Adrian restaurant; and he believes that if it's not his kind of restaurant, then it's no one's kind of restaurant.

 

What's my kind of restaurant?

 

There are many successful restaurants that are not my kind of restaurant. Probably most.

 

Taion didn't mean it wasn't your kind of restaurant.

 

He meant that it didn't succeed according to your definition of success (which I have a lot of sympathy with).

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I remember quite a few people saying Chevalier's dining room wasn't particularly inviting...and then of course the whole sir/madame schtick (a version of which popped up in this week's NYT Grünauer review)

 

Some people don't find Ssäm Bar's backless stools particularly inviting, either. Yet, somehow, they exist.

 

Some people would rather not be called monsieur/madame outside of countries where that language is spoken; others, like me, don't even notice it.

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