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Above all, it's an issue for Lex, because the burger needs to be priced not much less than a full entree.

I thought we put this one to bed a long time ago. You convinced me. A full service restaurant with an expensive cost structure needs to make a certain amount of money per entree, hence a burger needs to price that in.

 

My issue is whether it's worth it. A burger isn't some exotic dish that requires premium ingredients and a high level of skill to prepare. Yes, the Ozersky / Lafrieda myth machine claimed it did but that was marketing bullshit. Since I can get a good burger at a more casual place for about 50% to 60% of the cost of one served at a full service restaurant I don't think ordering one there is a good use of my money. Besides, the reason I go to a full service restaurant is because they serve dishes that require real skill to prepare. I order one of those even though it may cost $10 to $15 more than the burger. To me that's money well spent.

 

There are people who I respect who occasionally have burgers at full service restaurants. They've got their reasons and I have no issue with them. We all get to order what we want.

If the only thing youre judging on is specific burger value, sure. If youre also judging the glass of wine you can have with the burger and the room youre sitting in, thats a very different story.

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Well, someone has to start this thread, and I did go last night, but it took Significant Eater longer than expected to arrive, so I was content with an aperitif and a glass of Pet Nat, and 5 delicious

By the time this thread peters out,I think that Frenchette may have a burger on the menu...

In keeping with a long-standing tradition on MFF, this response is obligatory:   Having been to neither The Grill or Frenchette, I can unequivocally state Frenchette is certainly more "Mad Menesque"

 

By all accounts the food Nasr and Hanson produced at Minetta was very good. (I never went - I wasn't willing to jump through the McNally hoops.) N & H are proven talents and I expect them to produce food of similar or even better quality at Frenchette. Without the McNally halo effect after the opening crowds die down it should be possible to get a reservation with only a reasonable amount of effort. I look forward to going.

I have no clue why you think this restaurant will be less popular than Minetta but I doubt that unless youre talking about going in 2 years for breakfast. I doubt very much that the McNally halo is needed for this restaurant to be swamped for years.

 

Edited: Also, I'm not sure why you believe Minetta was SO hard to get into or what timeframe you're referring to as it having required "McNally hoops" to get into. This seems to be kind of made up.

 

 

I'll let other people make my point for me.

 

Oakapple's blog.

 

 

I don’t quite get the breathless excitement over Keith McNally’s latest restaurant, the reborn Minetta Tavern. Then again, I have never understood the excitement for Keith McNally’s other restaurants—most of them formulaic French brasseries. He’s got a good grasp on the format, but does this justify the long lines and impossible-to-get reservations?

 

Even Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton had to admit defeat, conceding he hired a concierge service to get him into Minetta at a decent hour, after multiple failed attempts to get in on his own. Restaurant Girl didn’t let on how she got in, but she does not dine anonymously, which perhaps is all we need to know.

 

Just for the heck of it, I called yesterday looking for a reservation tonight. I didn't honestly expect anything, but it never hurts to try. Their response: "The first we can offer is 11:30." That's p.m.

 

That didn't especially surprise me, but what happened next did. I said, "Thanks anyway, but that's a little too late for us." The reservationist then disconnected the line without saying thanks or goodbye. It won't stand in my way of eventually getting back to Minetta Tavern for a steak, but there is no need to be that rude, even when you are busy.

 

I tried to call the other day and was put on hold for 10 minutes with no response.. I called back and the same thing happened.. I went to Black Iron Burger instead.. It was really good.

I walked in for a bar seat at about 11:15 last night -- now we know, 11:15 on a Tuesday is the ticket -- and I have to say I just loved my dinner.

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 8 2009, 03:46 PM) 1029990

now we know, 11:15 on a Tuesday is the ticket

 

11:15 on a Tuesday in JULY

 

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 8 2009, 12:26 PM) 1030022

I would not necessarily recommend that you limit yourself to the burgers, if that's what you mean.

 

I would TOTALLY not recommend that you do ANYTHING to inconvenience yourself to go to this place. To the contrary, as I keep saying, this place ONLY makes sense to the extent it's convenient. (I didn't wait till 11:15 for dinner last night so I could go to Minetta Tavern; rather, when I finished my work at about 11 and considered where to have dinner, it occurred to me that I could probably get into Minetta Tavern then.)

 

But as a casual convenient spot -- on the rare occassions when it IS one -- I think it really can't be beat, for what it is.

 

I didn't mean to be burger-centric. Your last point is really the one I was getting at. Shake Shack is an excellent example of its genre - which is not especially unusual. Minetta is the same thing. If shake shack had even a reasonable line I would occasionally visit. If Minetta Tavern were actually even bookable to the common person I would probably go regularly given its location. As it is now I have better things to do.

 

I could quote a dozen more but I think the point has been made.

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By all accounts the food Nasr and Hanson produced at Minetta was very good. (I never went - I wasn't willing to jump through the McNally hoops.) N & H are proven talents and I expect them to produce food of similar or even better quality at Frenchette. Without the McNally halo effect after the opening crowds die down it should be possible to get a reservation with only a reasonable amount of effort. I look forward to going.

I have no clue why you think this restaurant will be less popular than Minetta but I doubt that unless youre talking about going in 2 years for breakfast. I doubt very much that the McNally halo is needed for this restaurant to be swamped for years.

 

Edited: Also, I'm not sure why you believe Minetta was SO hard to get into or what timeframe you're referring to as it having required "McNally hoops" to get into. This seems to be kind of made up.

 

 

I'll let other people make my point for me.

 

Oakapple's blog.

 

 

I don’t quite get the breathless excitement over Keith McNally’s latest restaurant, the reborn Minetta Tavern. Then again, I have never understood the excitement for Keith McNally’s other restaurants—most of them formulaic French brasseries. He’s got a good grasp on the format, but does this justify the long lines and impossible-to-get reservations?

 

Even Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton had to admit defeat, conceding he hired a concierge service to get him into Minetta at a decent hour, after multiple failed attempts to get in on his own. Restaurant Girl didn’t let on how she got in, but she does not dine anonymously, which perhaps is all we need to know.

 

Just for the heck of it, I called yesterday looking for a reservation tonight. I didn't honestly expect anything, but it never hurts to try. Their response: "The first we can offer is 11:30." That's p.m.

 

That didn't especially surprise me, but what happened next did. I said, "Thanks anyway, but that's a little too late for us." The reservationist then disconnected the line without saying thanks or goodbye. It won't stand in my way of eventually getting back to Minetta Tavern for a steak, but there is no need to be that rude, even when you are busy.

 

I tried to call the other day and was put on hold for 10 minutes with no response.. I called back and the same thing happened.. I went to Black Iron Burger instead.. It was really good.

I walked in for a bar seat at about 11:15 last night -- now we know, 11:15 on a Tuesday is the ticket -- and I have to say I just loved my dinner.

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 8 2009, 03:46 PM) 1029990

now we know, 11:15 on a Tuesday is the ticket

 

11:15 on a Tuesday in JULY

 

QUOTE(Sneakeater @ Jul 8 2009, 12:26 PM) 1030022

I would not necessarily recommend that you limit yourself to the burgers, if that's what you mean.

 

I would TOTALLY not recommend that you do ANYTHING to inconvenience yourself to go to this place. To the contrary, as I keep saying, this place ONLY makes sense to the extent it's convenient. (I didn't wait till 11:15 for dinner last night so I could go to Minetta Tavern; rather, when I finished my work at about 11 and considered where to have dinner, it occurred to me that I could probably get into Minetta Tavern then.)

 

But as a casual convenient spot -- on the rare occassions when it IS one -- I think it really can't be beat, for what it is.

 

I didn't mean to be burger-centric. Your last point is really the one I was getting at. Shake Shack is an excellent example of its genre - which is not especially unusual. Minetta is the same thing. If shake shack had even a reasonable line I would occasionally visit. If Minetta Tavern were actually even bookable to the common person I would probably go regularly given its location. As it is now I have better things to do.

 

I could quote a dozen more but I think the point has been made.

 

Some point has clearly been made, but I'm not sure it is the point you were trying to make. Minetta Tavern received a 3 star review from the New York Times on May 19, 2009. I know this because I looked it up just now. You have posted several statements that just before and in the several months after a three star review it was hard to get a prime time table at Minetta. Is there any three star restaurant in New York where that would not be true?

 

I ate one time at Nur and I have not been able to go back - a restaurant that received 2 stars from the Times in August and was good but not great, but has a similar number of seats to Minetta. I had to pull strings recently to get into The Grill and they have about 4x as many seats as either Minetta or Frenchette and opened just about a year ago at 2-3x the cost of either restaurant. They received three stars in August and this meal was last month.

 

I'm going to have to agree with Orik that you seem to have something in particular about McNally that you give exaggerated impact to the difficulty of getting in. The bottom line in NY is that if you are friendly and nice to the front of house and you have a tiny bit of patience, it pays off in dividends for the future. That's especially true for McNally restaurants and I'm sure it will be especially true at Frenchette, with so much of the staff having been raised up in that culture.

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Minetta was close to impossible for prime time tables. Easy enough otherwise, off-peak or bar.

If you take bar out of the dining options, every decent spot in NYC is impossible to get into at Prime Time for like 3+ years. If you ate at the bar semi regularly (once a quarter or more) it was not impossible to get prime time tables at all. McNally empire has always taken care of their own at a higher priority than strangers. Most businesses do this as well, but perhaps have fewer friends of the house.

 

Are you and Lex suggesting that eating at the bar is not a viable option for "getting in"?

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You come on all so natural darlin,but you know,it s really only naturalette...Break for a little humorette,which might make a nice addition to the desert menu...

Much needed. Thank you

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Minetta was close to impossible for prime time tables. Easy enough otherwise, off-peak or bar.

If you take bar out of the dining options, every decent spot in NYC is impossible to get into at Prime Time for like 3+ years. If you ate at the bar semi regularly (once a quarter or more) it was not impossible to get prime time tables at all. McNally empire has always taken care of their own at a higher priority than strangers. Most businesses do this as well, but perhaps have fewer friends of the house.

 

Are you and Lex suggesting that eating at the bar is not a viable option for "getting in"?

I'm posting for me not Lex, and I simply said that prime time tables were close to impossible, which is simply true, partly because they were held for friends of house. Which I'm fine with. And if you think Minetta in its heyday was not harder than other decent spots, I'm amazed.
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I doubt I'm the only one who doesn't care how difficult Minetta is/was to get into; whether burgers are good/bad for the bottom line (although mea culpa I admit to fanning those flames); and the general he said/he said BS that's taken up this thread so far. Is there some way the rest of us can be alerted (flashing lights? a siren?) when someone actually has a meal there and writes about it? So far, all we have is jtf saying he was "content with an aperitif and a glass of Pet Nat, and 5 delicious pig's foot croquettes at the bar . . ." and that's not much.

 

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I doubt I'm the only one who doesn't care how difficult Minetta is/was to get into; whether burgers are good/bad for the bottom line (although mea culpa I admit to fanning those flames); and the general he said/he said BS that's taken up this thread so far. Is there some way the rest of us can be alerted (flashing lights? a siren?) when someone actually has a meal there and writes about it? So far, all we have is jtf saying he was "content with an aperitif and a glass of Pet Nat, and 5 delicious pig's foot croquettes at the bar . . ." and that's not much.

 

Pfffftttt....as if my review doesn't count. (I did also cite 2 friends who've eaten meals there (one of those friends multiple meals) who've said the food is excellent).

 

But, to your meta question, why should anyone have to alert anyone as to when a full review is posted? You either read the thread or not. I mean, we do read about every salad made for dinner, don't we?

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