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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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I will encourage men to wear shorts and sandals with socks, but I will also accept bespoke suits if they say "sucker paid $2800 ($400 for French cuffs!!! muwahaha)" on the back in black light sensitive thread. Our best table (located in the restroom, ref. Schiller's, but more literally in the restroom) will include a USB charging cable hidden under the baseball cap holder - this shall be known as The Lex.

 

The kitchen will of course be staffed with a team of MFF members' relatives and acquaintances because they all work 73 hours a day at Mugaresa, and can therefore stomach me as a boss for at least 15 minutes a day.

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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

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.

 

It's not so much that the food is incidental, but that it's good enough for the purpose.

 

There are two fancy suburban Italian restaurants in my Westchester neighborhood. The food qua food is better at #1, but my wife prefers #2 because the service is more friendly there, and she likes the room better. But the food at #2 still matters: it's close enough to #1 for the non-food reasons to dominate the choice about where to dine when we're in the mood for nearby Italian.

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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.

 

If they had really believed that, they wouldn't have bothered hiring a chef with a recognizable name and actual food industry street cred. Wilf has it right: they wanted Chevalier to be a restaurant that mattered. But promoting Masson as the primary draw was a major error, only made worse because he didn't stay that long.

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I mean, when I wrote up Le Turtle, and I said that despite the surprisingly high quality of the food, the odd pretentious service and the fact that the restaurant seemed not to quite succeed at what it was trying to do (non-foodwise) made me recommend other similar places ahead of it, nobody complained.

 

This isn't any different, is it?

 

I would never send someone there, but Le Turtle does have a destination dish (the chicken) that has shown up on a number of "best of" lists. Frankly, I didn't think the chicken was all that great, but there's no question it has drawn people in — including me.

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You also have to keep in mind that Chevalier has the ugliest room of its type in the city right now.

.....

Like, both times I've eaten there, my first reaction has been a physical disgust at how ugly the room is, followed by being rather happy with their Astier de Villatte plates, followed by being very happy with the food.

 

But that room is, in its genre, just really ugly.

 

There is no normative universe in which this is true. Pete Wells called it "pretty". There are no other pro reviews I can find, but I scanned every Yelp review, and practically all had praise for the décor—even those that didn't like the food and/or service. Obviously, one is free to dislike anything, but if it were that bad, you'd expect to find a ton of other people saying the same.

 

By the way, how many other "rooms of that type" did you survey before uncorking that judgment?

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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.

 

It's not so much that the food is incidental, but that it's good enough for the purpose.

 

There are two fancy suburban Italian restaurants in my Westchester neighborhood. The food qua food is better at #1, but my wife prefers #2 because the service is more friendly there, and she likes the room better. But the food at #2 still matters: it's close enough to #1 for the non-food reasons to dominate the choice about where to dine when we're in the mood for nearby Italian.

 

 

Well put. We (and I'm referring to my wife and me) like to feel a bit coddled when we go out to spend money on food.

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Chevalier has a much, much uglier room than either the Modern or Gabriel Kreuther. The Modern's room might be a bit soulless, but it's not... well, ugly. There's nothing objectionable about it. GK's room is somewhat ugly because it's got too much going on with the wood and the dark wallpaper, but the light is nice.

 

Chevalier has no natural light. The artificial light that it does have is just extremely poorly conceived – it's all on the walls, and to top of all off, the red lighting behind the bar is hideous. There's no universe in which anybody with an ounce of taste in decor could say that the Chevalier room is anything but extraordinarily ugly for a formal French-style dining room. It's funny because it wouldn't even be difficult to fix, since it's the way they light it more than anything else, but it's a trainwreck right now.

 

I will encourage men to wear shorts and sandals with socks, but I will also accept bespoke suits if they say "sucker paid $2800 ($400 for French cuffs!!! muwahaha)" on the back in black light sensitive thread.

GBP, not USD (cable's not quite at parity yet...). And you're thinking surgeon's cuffs – french cuffs go on shirts, not jackets, but there's not typically any extra fee for them if they're offered – the only real extra expense of note is that they make sleeve length alterations a bit more involved.

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There's no universe in which anybody with an ounce of taste in decor could say that the Chevalier room is anything but extraordinarily ugly for a formal French-style dining room.

 

In that case, find me others of renowned good taste who've said that.

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You should also add that most people can't distinguish between good food and mediocre food. It's not like they eat the mediocre stuff grudgingly. They don't *know* it's mediocre

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You should also add that most people can't distinguish between good food and mediocre food. It's not like they eat the mediocre stuff grudgingly. They don't *know* it's mediocre

 

That's true, but if a place is indeed mediocre, eventually informed comments to that effect will pile up.

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You should also add that most people can't distinguish between good food and mediocre food. It's not like they eat the mediocre stuff grudgingly. They don't *know* it's mediocre

 

That's true, but if a place is indeed mediocre, eventually informed comments to that effect will pile up.

 

After reading here about the ugly room and mediocre food, I cruised TA. There, Chevalier gets high(est) marks for the exquisite room and perfect French food. (Read that in context.) Comments like "Very well cooked French food that evokes the palate truly." that brought a thank you response from Chevalier management.

 

Reflecting on the Paris Baccarat restaurant, these restaurants are Baccarat theme parks where tourists and (unknowing) celebratory locals go for what they consider opulent surroundings and a fancy meal. Regardless of how Chevalier stacks up with similar level NY restaurants, it seems to be fulfilling its mandate of serving upscale looking food for those with inexperienced palates.

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