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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

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.

 

I say this as a failed Chevalier supporter...but it's an accumulation of things that, taken together, are signifiers to those who care about such things. To Adrian, the fact that the hotel housing it is named for Baccarat, is a turn-off before you even walk in the door. This is another of those things that I don't care about at all, but which bother him immensely.

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I don't know really know why you object to Chevalier. Obviously I'm tweaking Sneak with that comment.

I object to it because it's unfashionable. I don't think it's really about the people that eat there. I think it's much more about the hotel it's in, the choice of decor... just how the restaurant chooses to present itself to prospective customers.

 

I mean, how would you even tell if the other diners in a restaurant like this are rich old conservatives or rich old liberals or kids playing dress-up? I mean, as long as they're dressed the same...

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But it's so random. If Chevalier had opened in GK's location, there would surely be complaints that it was in a corporate banking building. If Ma Peche had opened in the Baccarat, it wouldn't matter; if Chevalier had opened in the Chambers Hotel that would be a problem.

 

Yes, these are all signifiers, but I'm interested in what they are signifiers for: because in themselves they're not good reasons.

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I mean, how would you even tell if the other diners in a restaurant like this are rich old conservatives or rich old liberals or kids playing dress-up? I mean, as long as they're dressed the same...

 

 

Right, it's an assumption, and for the most probably false as I've said.

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I think overall, I get the impression that Chevalier is largely aimed at people with money who want an overall sense of generic international luxury.

 

GK on the other hand feels like it's much more aimed at people who enjoy food and culture.

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I think overall, I get the impression that Chevalier is largely aimed at people with money who want an overall sense of generic international luxury.

 

GK on the other hand feels like it's much more aimed at people who enjoy food and culture.

 

Daniel? Le Bernardin?

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I don't go to song recitals at Carnegie Hall because of the rich old people in the audience?

 

I'm lost.

 

You don't go to Carnegie Hall for song recitals because there's something about the atmosphere and presentational rituals you don't like, even when you like the program.

 

There's nothing wrong with that, of course.

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Yes, yes, of course.

What I've been struggling with here--and I don't think it will get any clearer--is that the specific complaints about Chevalier could equally well be directed at restaurants which don't meet the same resistance (fake Frenchery at Cherche Midi, overpriced drinks at The NoMad, penguin service at Del Posto, an ugly room at The Modern, and so on). That's why I think there's a background prejudice behind them.

 

The analogy would be me complaining about the rituals of Carnegie Hall, while happily attending the same programs at Alice Tully Hall (you may have better examples, but you see what I mean).

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