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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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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 all about irony. The reason I wanted to underline that Chevalier has more contemporary cooking than GK or The Modern is that--even combined with service led by the long-time Modern GM--someone like Adrian would still guess, I suspect, that he'd like The Modern better.

 

It would be a huge mistake, but such is the bizarre power of a few sociological signifiers.

 

Reminds me of when I'd eat superb lunches at Le Cirque from the off menu specials, and you'd never read a good word about the place on line.

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LoftOpera doing Tosca in a bus depot is is a lot more of-the-moment than Bob Dylan performing at Forest Hills Stadium. Why?

 

Chevalier is unfashionable, plain and simple. I'd rather we live in a world where that style of restaurant were fashionable, but it's not, and that very much is something that detracts from the experience of going there.

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LoftOpera doing Tosca in a bus depot is is a lot more of-the-moment than Bob Dylan performing at Forest Hills Stadium. Why?

 

Chevalier is unfashionable, plain and simple. I'd rather we live in a world where that style of restaurant were fashionable, but it's not, and that very much is something that detracts from the experience of going there.

For me good is good regardless of whether it is fashionable.

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Mm, but why is The Modern or Gabriel Kreuther more fashionable--setting aside the ghost of Charles Masson?

 

It's not the food, and it can hardly be the service.

 

GK has a contemporary appearance not entirely conveyed by the photos posted upthread. Put Kreuther (the chef) into Chevalier's dining room, cooking the same food he is now, and he would've had the same challenges that Gallante has had.

 

The Modern (dining room) does indeed have an antiseptic, corporate feel to it, if viewed in isolation. But the impression on the user is really the "average" of two very different spaces, because you have to pass through the Bar Room to get there. GK also has a lively bar room that you see when you first walk in, although you don't walk through it, as you do at The Modern.

 

I can see how Chevalier struck people quite differently. As Adrian is fond of saying, there are signifiers at Chevalier that shout "old skool," and which are offensive to those who elect to be offended by such things.

 

Some people burst into hives at hearing the word monsieur from their server; whereas it is utterly irrelevant to me. Someone upthread seemed to be under the misimpression that I particularly want to be called monsieur, which isn't the case. I simply don't care at all, but some people clearly do.

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I bet you hate the decor and the prices at the 21 Club too. :P

 

You see, I know I don't.

 

But that's because it's ancient. Chevalier seems like an attempt to recreate something that has no reason for being at present (and, to be clear, GK and The Modern don't).

 

People give '21' a pass for the same reason they give La Grenouille a pass: it faithfully preserves the era it came from.

 

It's not for me to say which restaurants have any reason for being. But any new restaurant needs to make its own case, which Chevalier hasn't yet done.

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so oakapple, building on you never having been to Roberta's, have you ever been to Bushwick?

i saw oakapple at a Roberta's backyard event dinner one night a few years back!

 

I'm just pulling his leg. (because he generally writes about all these restaurants that are identically old skool as far as I can tell)

 

eta: I mean, why else would they be called oakapple restaurants?

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Some people burst into hives at hearing the word monsieur from their server; whereas it is utterly irrelevant to me. Someone upthread seemed to be under the misimpression that I particularly want to be called monsieur, which isn't the case. I simply don't care at all, but some people clearly do.

Yes, but my point goes slightly beyond that. People can be called Monsieur at Cherche Midi, or The Clocktower, and all kinds of places, and not care. It's other things about Chevalier which cause the Monsieur Reaction, not the Monsieur Reaction which causes disdain for Chevalier. Just as other things cause horror at cocktail prices which are simple taken in one's stride at The NoMad.

 

As I keep saying, the most likely contender seems to be the assumption (probably even less true now than initially) that rich old conservatives eat there.

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