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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

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).

 

No, because I could see that.

 

But to me, this is more like not liking Generation X (although, to be honest, I kind of did like Gen X) while liking Chelsea (yeah, those examples weren't chosen at random).

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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.

Shea Gallante had three NYT stars and a Michelin star at Cru, and it's well known that Frank Bruni seriously considered awarding the fourth star, before the wheels fell off the bus during the financial crisis. He is an unlikely choice to run the kitchen, if the target audience is rich people who don't really know good from bad, as long as it's served with $25 vodka cocktails.

 

Anyhow, it is a myth of the modern food media, that middle-class folk who post on Internet boards know food culture, but wealthy folks with lots of disposable income, do not. Even assuming for argument's sake that this restaurant is aimed primarily at the wealthy, why would you assume that you know more about food than they do?

 

I mean, maybe you do, but this idea that you get dumber about food, the wealthier you get, isn't backed up with any facts. It's just a Jim Leff legend.

 

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He's not saying that rich people as a whole don't know about food culture.

 

He's saying that Chevalier gives the impression of being directed at the kind of rich people for whom food is only incidental. Cf. Nello.

 

Nello didn't hire Shea Gallante.

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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).

No, because I could see that.

 

But to me, this is more like not liking Generation X (and, to be honest, I kind of did like Gen X) while liking Chelsea (yeah, those examples weren't chosen at random).

 

Or like liking A Night at the Opera while not liking The Big Store.

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Incidental doesn't mean bad. It's just that the food is not presented as the most important thing about Chevalier.

 

Look at the Eater headline: http://ny.eater.com/2014/11/19/7246123/la-grenouille-charles-masson-opens-chevalier-midtown-february. It's "La Grenouille Legend Charles Masson Opens Chevalier in Midtown in February", not "Cru Legend Shea Gallante Opens Chevalier in Midtown in February".

 

Look at the damn websites. 2 of the 3 photos in Chevalier's hero unit slideshow aren't even of the food. Yes, we all know that Shea Gallante is a good chef and he cooks at Chevalier, but he's nowhere near as essential to that restaurant as, say, the chef Gabriel Kreuther is to the restaurant Gabriel Kreuther.

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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).

 

The drinks at the NoMad bar aren't overpriced. And they're made by some of the best cocktail people in the industry.

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Here's an analogy. Bentleys are very, very fast. That doesn't make them sports cars. Their performance is largely incidental. They'd be bad cars if they were slow, but I don't think people buy them because they're fast.

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The drinks at the NoMad bar aren't overpriced. And they're made by some of the best cocktail people in the industry.

They have a bunch that are $17 or $18, compared to a going rate of $15 at most bars.

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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).

There can be no prejudice against sumptuous baccarat crystal!

 

Stop trying to explain cool, you're never going to do it.

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Look at the Eater headline: http://ny.eater.com/2014/11/19/7246123/la-grenouille-charles-masson-opens-chevalier-midtown-february. It's "La Grenouille Legend Charles Masson Opens Chevalier in Midtown in February", not "Cru Legend Shea Gallante Opens Chevalier in Midtown in February".

The Eater headline is simply the "spin" that that website decided to put on the place, before it had served its first meal.

 

Look at the damn websites. 2 of the 3 photos in Chevalier's hero unit slideshow aren't even of the food. Yes, we all know that Shea Gallante is a good chef and he cooks at Chevalier, but he's nowhere near as essential to that restaurant as, say, the chef Gabriel Kreuther is to the restaurant Gabriel Kreuther.

 

As opposed to the marvellous food photos on the website for Le Turtle.

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The drinks at the NoMad bar aren't overpriced. And they're made by some of the best cocktail people in the industry.

They have a bunch that are $17 or $18, compared to a going rate of $15 at most bars.

 

Allow me to rephrase: While a bunch of the drinks at the NoMad bar may be a few dollars more than "at most bars," in my opinion they are not overpriced.

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