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Wilfrid makes the food sound more in line with what it looks like on the interwebs (skillfully done uninteresting bistro) than the breathless accounts offered here earlier. I'll bring a butter knife when we go.

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Maybe they just looked at your pictures and decided not to go?

Or it may mean that the board is biased because of features unrelated to the food*. There's nothing wrong with such a bias because we know restaurants are not about food, but Wilfrid and Instagram tog

Also, at risk of sounding defensive, I'm a little lost at some of the responses to the favorable notices posted here.*

 

This place was pitched, from the start, as one that would serve trad bistro food. (It was quite clear which of Chef Rose's Paris restaurants this was a follow-up to.) When people reacted favorably to it (not just me: it's apparent in almost all the favorable write-ups here), it was within that context. No one misunderstood what kind of place this was (food-wise) -- and no one was surprised to find out they liked such food and were missing it.

 

Instead, it was a bunch of people who are seriously predisposed to this kind of food very much liking a very good version of it -- much better than we've been able to get here in a while.

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* And by this I DON'T mean disagreements as to the merits of particular dishes: if you don't like the rabbit, then don't like it.

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Sneak, this is much better than Lafayette or Montmartre, Cherche Midi, or--from my experience--Dirty French.

 

At the same time, it didn't stun me. The calf head with leeks at L'Absinthe, the terrine Lucullus at Benoit, the jambon persille at MIMI--all comparable. The blanquette de veau at Le Philosophe, better than this rabbit. The quenelles at La Caravelle not markedly inferior to these.

 

Of course some of this places have gone, and if you mean Le Coucou is filling a gap, true enough. But I don't think it's leagues ahead, based on this meal.

 

 

No, I think it's leagues ahead. (Maybe not leagues ahead of L'Absinthe.)

 

 

Also, at risk of sounding defensive, I'm a little lost at some of the responses to the favorable notices posted here.*

 

This place was pitched, from the start, as one that would serve trad bistro food. (It was quite clear which of Chef Rose's Paris restaurants this was a follow-up to.) When people reacted favorably to it (not just me: it's apparent in almost all the favorable write-ups here), it was within that context. No one misunderstood what kind of place this was (food-wise) -- and no one was surprised to find out they liked such food and were missing it.

 

Instead, it was a bunch of people who are seriously predisposed to this kind of food very much liking a very good version of it -- much better than we've been able to get here in a while.

________________________________________________________

* And by this I DON'T mean disagreements as to the merits of particular dishes: if you don't like the rabbit, then don't like it.

 

Right; was this place ever "backstoried" as anything but what the food on the plate is?

 

The pleasant surprises? The surroundings. The wine list. The service.

 

And if you look at the post above your 2 quoted posts, one dish at each of those restaurants is called comparable to dishes at Le Coucou. And that poster even had the temerity to start comparing food here to food at The Elm, two restaurants which have (or had, in the case of the Elm) basically nothing in common with each other.

 

Yes, I know. I guess it's hard for me to see this as something particularly unique or interesting but I'll reserve judgement until I can actually go.

 

I think this is fairly unique for downtown NYC, in mid-2016.

 

And I'm sure that while it's not of interest to you, it's pretty interesting to some. And maybe even a fun place to go, if we set interesting aside.

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Yes, I know. I guess it's hard for me to see this as something particularly unique or interesting but I'll reserve judgement until I can actually go.

 

It is probable that you'd have to live somewhere like New York to think this is particularly unique or interesting.

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Rich - I'm curious. What did your friend think was the best opening of the past few years?

Funny you should ask, because I did ask that for a reference point. Batard was the answer. Couldn't argue much with that.

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No, I think it's leagues ahead. (Maybe not leagues ahead of L'Absinthe.)

I'm with you here. My original comment is that this is bistro food executed at a very high level. I have tasted perhaps ten dishes and with one exception they were delicious. Not "stunning" but delicious. I want to go back soon, which is more than I can say for Le Coq Rico. Adding good service in a comfortable, attractive room and reasonable pricing makes the place very appealing.

 

There are a number of places where I've had one dish in a meal I went nuts over, but very few where five or six were superb. I've sent several friends with extensive eating resumes who reported similar reactions.

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Yes, I know. I guess it's hard for me to see this as something particularly unique or interesting but I'll reserve judgement until I can actually go.

It is probable that you'd have to live somewhere like New York to think this is particularly unique or interesting.

Outside of Montreal and Quebec City where in North America can you get competent, let alone very good, bistro cooking? Nyc is flush, which is not a complement.

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Wilfrid makes the food sound more in line with what it looks like on the interwebs (skillfully done uninteresting bistro) than the breathless accounts offered here earlier. I'll bring a butter knife when we go.

 

I don't think you'll like it.

 

@Sneak: "Skilfully done uninteresting bistro" may be uncharitable, but I think it lucidly describes taking an ancient bouchon classic like tablier de sapeur, and serving it as a smallish portion, neatly sliced, over a tomato confit.

 

It's not a bad dish.

 

ETA: I love this kind of food too. I just didn't think the tripe and quenelle were amazingly above and beyond what I've had before; maybe they're better than versions available here and now, true.

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Wilfrid makes the food sound more in line with what it looks like on the interwebs (skillfully done uninteresting bistro) than the breathless accounts offered here earlier. I'll bring a butter knife when we go.

 

I don't think you'll like it.

 

@Sneak: "Skilfully done uninteresting bistro" may be uncharitable, but I think it lucidly describes taking an ancient bouchon classic like tablier de sapeur, and serving it as a smallish portion, neatly sliced, over a tomato confit.

 

It's not a bad dish.

 

ETA: I love this kind of food too. I just didn't think the tripe and quenelle were amazingly above and beyond what I've had before; maybe they're better than versions available here and now, true.

 

 

My point is only that to me, taking an ancient bouchon classic and snazzing it up just a tiny bit is what I most want.

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To be clear, to me, "skillfully done uninteresting bistro" is about as incomprehensible as "well-made uninteresting pizza". Bistro and pizza are good -- no GREAT -- and hence interesting in themselves.

 

I understand that there are people who don't share these enthusiasms. (I even can recall someone, whom I even respect very much, whose one-word reaction to pizza as a dish was "meh".)

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