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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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That's not the claim: it's that the specific faults found in Chevalier are found equally elsewhere, demonstrating that the real problem is different.

 

If I claimed to hate a program at Carnegie Hall because of its content, but happily attended the same program at Alice Tully, maybe the problem isn't the program.

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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

 

 

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.

Gold star. But I will say that Chevalier made a profound error in promoting Masson's participation ahead of Gallante's.

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I don't understand how there can be "a restaurant where the food is only 'incidental'"--isn't providing food the point of a restaurant? A bar, a lounge, a concert venue, a roller rink, sure, the food could be incidental. But a restaurant exists to serve food to people, no?

 

As the argument goes, some restaurants are really social clubs. People go there to party, not because the food is so great.

 

 

Think of any shitty-to-mediocre restaurant in your neighborhood, that people still go to because it's convenient, and they like the staff, and they're likely to run into people they know there, and it isn't expensive. Tell me the food matters there almost AT ALL.

 

ETA -- I'd almost argue that the food is incidental in most restaurants. Otherwise you couldn't explain the continuing existence of 9/10s of the restaurants within a mile or so of my apartment.

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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.

Gold star. But I will say that Chevalier made a profound error in promoting Masson's participation ahead of Gallante's.

 

 

No. Because THAT'S THE KIND OF RESTAURANT IT IS.

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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.

Okay, Wrong term. As we explored in detail when it opened, most of the cocktail pricing at Chevalier made sense given the ingredients (the exception being the damn drink Sneak ordered). NoMad's high end offerings never came under the same microscope here.

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Nevertheless Taavo Somer's restaurants are clearly not really our sorts of restaurants. If they're good, it's incidental.

 

I chose Le Turtle, because Adrian idolizes Taavo Somer, while slamming Chevalier despite never having dined there.

 

Personally, I think Somer is a poseur, but Adrian keeps telling me I'm wrong.

 

 

Note that you can think that Taavo Somer is very highly influential (as Adrian and I do) without much liking his restaurants. (And of course his influence goes way beyond restaurants: he was very highly influential in design before he opened a single restaurant.)

 

Indeed, you can think that on the whole his influence is positive without much liking his restaurants.

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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.

Honestly, I'm barely aware of Baccarat crystal.

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I think it's fine that people reject restaurants because of non-food aspects. (The reason we're still beating this to death is that it's a very rare example of a restaurant being rejected for such reasons when the food is outstanding.)

 

It's as if nobody wants to articulate the real reasons for the rejection, which are sociological and not really anything to do with the color of the walls or cocktail prices.

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I don't think it mainly is, though.

 

I'll tell you why. Daniel appeals to the same socioeconomic crowd you'd have me hate Chevalier for, and it never bothered me. What bothers me at Chevalier is that it's so vulgar in pursuing that kind of crowd.

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