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Chevalier at The Baccarat


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This will probably strike you as a gossamer distinction, but I said something along the line of Chevalier's being an inept attempt to revive a type of restaurant that no longer has any reason to exist. I didn't say that Chevalier itself had no reason to exist: the food alone is a reason.

 

This discussion has clarified my thinking on this. I think the emphasis should be on "inept." More accurately, it's the vulgarity of the whole enterprise (as I see it, of course) that spoils it for me.

This is an argument that has more resonance for me. Done well, such a concept has every reason to exist, but the attempt here doesn't quite work. It didn't bother me as much as it did other people, but I can see where that argument is coming from.

 

Along that line, let me respond to a point that Wilf has made a few times. I complained about the expensive $24 (or so) cocktails. Wilf has noted that all of the cocktails contained luxe ingredients except the one I ordered. The luxe ingredient they use most frequently is Ruinart Champagne. I tend not to like Champagne cocktails -- but in any event, I definitely think that use of expensive Champagne in a cocktail is extremely vulgar. That's the kind of thing that turned me off just about as soon as I sat down.

 

It's a bit like that omelet at Norma's that has $100 worth of caviar on top of it. (If you're really in the mood to splurge, they'll give you the $1,000 version.)

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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

 

No, it's fine, you're just wrong about it.

Did Taion ever come up with any basis for this, other than his personal revulsion? I looked at several online review sites, and most people like the room. I realize that we don't know who these people are, but most also like the food, and we seem to be perfectly willing to accept that judgment.

 

 

Well that's what I'm mildly mocking here. It's not the best lit restaurant in the city, but it's really not such a big deal; and certainly the "ex cathedra" pronouncement invites mockery.

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Right. Exactly. That's my point. You have to acknowledge that the food at Le Turtle is quite good.

 

But you also have to acknowledge (well, you don't have to; you might like that stuff) that everything else about it is off-putting. So you end up not wanting to keep going there.

 

The same thing I think about Chevalier (except obvs I think the food at Chevalier is A LOT better).

 

Except...you haven't said about Le Turtle, as you did about Chevalier, that it "has no reason to exist."

 

 

This will probably strike you as a gossamer distinction, but I said something along the line of Chevalier's being an inept attempt to revive a type of restaurant that no longer has any reason to exist. I didn't say that Chevalier itself had no reason to exist: the food alone is a reason.

 

This discussion has clarified my thinking on this. I think the emphasis should be on "inept." More accurately, it's the vulgarity of the whole enterprise (as I see it, of course) that spoils it for me.

 

Along that line, let me respond to a point that Wilf has made a few times. I complained about the expensive $24 (or so) cocktails. Wilf has noted that all of the cocktails contained luxe ingredients except the one I ordered. The luxe ingredient they use most frequently is Ruinart Champagne. I tend not to like Champagne cocktails -- but in any event, I definitely think that use of expensive Champagne in a cocktail is extremely vulgar. That's the kind of thing that turned me off just about as soon as I sat down.

 

 

But you are proving my point. I can easily find you cocktail bars and other restaurants which do that, without eliciting disdain for vulgarity.

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I can't think of a single respectable cocktail bar where (a) almost all the listed cocktails are Champagne cocktails, (b) every single one of the listed cocktails costs well more than $20, and (c ) they waste premium Champagne in Champagne cocktails (I don't remember what kind of Champagne Pegu Club uses in its French 75s -- but since they don't charge more for them than for other standard cocktails, it can't be too expensive).

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Neither can I. I said I could find you places which used premium champagnes in cocktails, and Raines Law Room is an example.

 

As for Chevalier, I don't recognize your description of the original cocktail list ("almost all" champagne cocktails?), and in any case, the current list prices most cocktails at $18, including one champagne cocktail made with Dhond-Grellet.

 

So you'll have to find a new reason to object to the place.

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I can't think of a single respectable cocktail bar where (a) almost all the listed cocktails are Champagne cocktails, (b) every single one of the listed cocktails costs well more than $20, and (c ) they waste premium Champagne in Champagne cocktails (I don't remember what kind of Champagne Pegu Club uses in its French 75s -- but since they don't charge more for them than for other standard cocktails, it can't be too expensive).

 

Imagine if Chevalier had a section of its list labeled "Champagne Attractions." I am sure it would be the last word in boorish vulgarity. :D

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I can't think of a single respectable cocktail bar where (a) almost all the listed cocktails are Champagne cocktails, (b) every single one of the listed cocktails costs well more than $20, and (c ) they waste premium Champagne in Champagne cocktails (I don't remember what kind of Champagne Pegu Club uses in its French 75s -- but since they don't charge more for them than for other standard cocktails there, it can't be too expensive).

 

Imagine if Chevalier had a section of its list labeled "Champagne Attractions." I am sure it would be the last word in boorish vulgarity. :D

 

 

No, that's fine. It's a section -- a niche. At Chevalier, it was pretty much the entire list.

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Three out of fifteen on the opening list. Not, for example, "(A)n enticing page called 'Champagne Opportunities,' with a quote from Winston Churchill: 'In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it.'"

We went through the other ingredients in detail early in this thread. Fancy spirits and liqueurs--except in the one you ordered.

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