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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

1. Le Coucou might have generously comped early promising customers, but at least in my case, it clearly wasn't because they knew of any internet presence. They had no idea it was my birthday yesterday until my date let it slip mid-meal.

 

2. My date, who doesn't regularly read The Times, remarked to me that "something" must have happened since we were last there to make the staff more "haughty". Indeed.

 

3. My take wasn't that the staff was more "haughty". It was that they were more shell-shocked. Rather than removing pressure, I think the Times review increased demand to the point approaching the limits of tolerance. I hope Maitre d' Cecchi gets the vacation he looks like he needs before 2018.

 

4. Chef Rose, OTOH, looked like nothing in the world could rile him, one way or the other.

 

3. They now have a tete de veau. It frankly isn't as silkily superb as Chef Pujin's was. But I'll take it.

 

4. They had to reconfigure the pheasant to account for my date's (cancer-associated) lactose intolerance. So they replaced the butter in the recipe with fat drippings from the foie. This made the dish -- a classic Alsatian preparation, with the pheasant and the foie over the most gorgeous sauerkraut you've ever eaten -- almost too rich. The key word there is "almost".

 

5. They comped us what I think will soon be a new menu addition: venison carpaccio in a cocoa-nib emulsion. This was beyond fantastic.

 

COMP DISCLOSURE: That venison, a french fry dusted with caviar (an inside joke), and then once they found out it was my birthday they retroactively comped our pre-dinner drinks and maybe desserts.

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4. Chef Rose, OTOH, looked like nothing in the world could rile him, one way or the other.

Considering he also has a brand-new restaurant and an infant restaurant currently open in Paris, fairly astonishing.

 

That sauerkraut, which I think I referred to as "almost sauerkraut," is fucking delicious.

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