Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Nathan

  1. Nathan


    Let me rephrase (I thought I made this clear)...the number of people who actually read the reviews and actually patronize four-star restaurants (at least more than once a year) is a small subset and I surmise most of thus are already familiar with Bouley. my 3 cents
  2. Nathan


    Though I too was puzzled at the lack of attention paid to food qua food, I'm not sure that I agree with (Rich?) that it's problematic that the review is clearly aimed at small subset of the Times readership (those that have some familiarity with high-end cuisine in NY). The set of Times readers who read the main review on Wednesdays is probably relatively small to begin with (I would not be astounded if it was even smaller than the "Under $25" column). The readership with the financial wherewithal (and desire) to frequent 4-star restaurants is a subset of that subset. I'm thinking that it's safe to surmise that most of that final subset are already aware of Bouley and its reputation and have some context to put it in.
  3. Nathan

    Spice Market

    Although I do disagree with Hesser's 3-star rating fro SM, it is necessary to point out that the JG's blurb for her book is essentially meaningless and doesn't necessarily reflect any favoritism or friendship between them. In the publishing world, blurbs are essentially "paid for" -- in many (perhaps the majority of) cases the person doing the blurbing has never read the book being blurbed.
  4. imho, people who make several reservations for the same time slot and then cancel them make it easier for the rest of us to get a last-minute table (and that includes tourists). I don't see the problem. It's not rude to the restaurant, they're going to get those tables filled, so who really loses?
  5. Nathan


    technically speaking, "Kobe-style" beef would refer to Wagyu beef that has been rubbed down etc....of course, there is no evidence that those rituals do anything for the quality of the beef (or even that they do much of it in Kobe these days -- someone correct me if I'm wrong on whether they still really do it). of course, the whole point of "Kobe Beef" is the high fat content of the Wagyu breed, and indeed those cows can be bred basically anywhere (especially Australia and Texas)...so for all practical purposes, any Wagyu beef is Kobe beef -- at least for purposes of flavor (which is the whole point isn't it)
  6. Get a drink at Spice Market -- then it's a tossup -- I'd say Biltmore Room if you want something a little different. The food can be very, very good...I had a rather serious service issue the first time that I went but I don't see any reason to assume that it'll be replicated.
  7. I think it's a fair summary to say that we have two definitions of authenticity bumping heads (both with a fair amount to be said for them). 1. Authenticity in the sense of a style, an approach, a culinary zeitgeist (I refuse to say "a holistic approach" -- when I hear the "h-word" I reach for my shotgun). By this meaning, Babbo or Lupa are the closest of anything in New York to "authentic" Italian cooking. 2. Authenticity in the sense of a simulacrum, some sort of high-correspondence representation. (And no, I do not think the Epcot Center is exemplary of this definition -- I've lived in Norway and I can tell you the Norwegian portion of Epcot is nothing like Norway past or present). I haven't been to Thailand but maybe Sphriphithai (sp.?) is exemplary of this? I think it's fair to say that most of the time when talking about food most of us actually mean a combination of the above. Most here would probably laugh at a menu reference to "authentic cippino" or "authentic chop suey" or "authentic spaghetti and meatballs" without having to think about it. So, we often mean the second definition yet we wouldn't criticize Babbo in the same breath. However, we (or most of us at any rate) attach value to the second definition -- it's something that we look for at least some of the time and probably attach a value to it independent of taste. I'm meandering here but it gets more complex when we start discussing culinary traditions begun here by immigrants (that may now be several generations old) -- for example, I've been asked many times about where to find "authentic" Mexican -- without exception the questioner has always meant "Tex-Mex"; otherwise I'd have to send them at least to Chicago if not Oaxaca. I've had what was probably more authentic Thai in Milwaukee than anywhere in Manhattan (at least in terms of spiciness and robusticity of flavor). And to throw a different spin: probably the ultimate ironic commentary on differing notions of authenticity is the ubiquitousness of chopsticks in Thai restaurants....something inauthentic catering to the customer's false knowledge of "authenticity." my 3 cents.
  8. This past Sunday I was in the neighborhood (of the 28th Street Les Halles) and stopped in for brunch. Although a small list -- very pleased with the wines by the glass. Two reds from St. Emilion -- both quite good. Had the F-O soup followed by the steak sandwich ($16.00). The soup was solid if a little lacking in actual onions (but I think most people prefer the cheese anyway -- of which there was a copious amount). Steak sandwich was excellent: well-seasoned, medium rare per spec, caramelized onions, bread wasn't soggy. Served with a pile of excellent frites and a small mesclun salad. A bargain (not that lunch and brunch aren't generally so at many spots). The downside -- I'm not going to make too much of this because it was Memorial Day weekend (and my fault for being stuck in the city) but the crowd tended toward the ugly tourist variety (and this is by no means an attack on all tourists -- but these were stereotypes waiting to happen). A loudly crying baby, obnoxious people on either side of our table, let alone the couple for whom this was apparently a romantic occasion -- complete with a bottle of the mediocre and overpriced (even at retail) VC Yellow Label. I'd certainly stop in again for a quick dinner or maybe risk brunch again on a non-holiday weekend.
  9. Nathan


    I've never had a service issue either...and second brunch as the best meal (although the Les Panier is available at both brunch and breakfast (where it's cheaper and a few hours fresher) and is a must). The brandade is quite nice and I second the boudin. There is an unlisted reservation number (available via Google) which I've found will still usually get you a reservation up to a day or so before.
  10. I've eaten there and thought her review was spot-on. I'd eat there again as a casual Tuesday night sort of place. It is considerably better than Natchez. With that said, I was surprised to see her review it at all -- it certainly fits more in the $25 and under parameter than some of the places Asimov has been reviewing.
  11. Nathan


    I suppose one of the parameters would be what constitutes an actual meal. I generally don't like desserts and generally don't eat large quantities of food so I'm usually happy with splitting an appetizer and then one entree (I will do a full tasting menu when I'm prepared for it). Thus, in theory on the food side of things I could presumably do August for under $25. Since I drink relatively copiously that side of the equation is dubious for me anywhere.
  12. The Milk & Honey concept is a bit pretentious but when you get so jaded over "in-spots" and tourists and B&T'ers over-running your favorite bars it starts to seem like not such a bad idea. as for the bar itself though, it's great. when you see them using a manual juicer to make fresh orange juice you have some idea of their commitment to perfection. the bar doesn't open until 9 and you can't call until then either (to the best of my knowledge)....you would call at say 11 and say, my name is ____ and I'll be there in half an hour with 2 people... drinks are $12 a piece and well worth it (never thought I'd say that).
  13. Nathan

    Per Se

    Per Se is not currently listed on OpenTable.com. Almost all restaurants that have a computerized reservation system (as opposed to using a pen and a day planner) use software made by Open Table -- that's actually their primary product. The online-booking site, opentable.com, is a spin-off which they offer to restaurants but far, far more restaurants use their software than use the site.
  • Create New...