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Everything posted by DutchMuse

  1. We have recently dined at a number of NYC steakhouses, including Craftsteak, Keen's, and Wolfgang's. Though Keen's had better steak, the overall experience was the best at Quality Meats. First, the setting is nice, and I liked the room. Though we were seated downstairs, the decor is such we never felt that it was a drawback being without a window. Nicely done. And most important--the tables are spaced nicely apart. We were not in the sardine can environment of Keen's, which I always find dampens my experience there. For the food--it was terrific. I started with the caesar salad, which was quite nice with lovely anchovies--not the "salt lick" kind, but 'real' anchovies. My only complaint was the romaine lettuce which was still in a bunch rather than the individual leaves separated, a choice the chef has made but one I would not have selected. Still, quite good. My partner had the charcuterie, which looked at good as it tasted. It had 6 meats on it--proscuitto, salami, coppa, bresaola, spicy sopressata, and cacciatoriai. It was great and reminded me of Otto but without the chaos. But the steak! The steak! We ordered the 2 bone rib steak, carved tableside. Wonderful! It was perfectly prepared to order, medium rare. It had a beautiful char on the outside, and was rare on the inside, just as we had ordered it. Had that nice dry aged taste and tenderness. Wonderful; I'm still thinking about it. My partner had the rib eye and loved it as much as our steak. His had the same char on the outside with a huge bone in it! For sides, we had the cippolini onions which were great, I thought. My partner had the gnocchi, which he enjoyed but I found served with too much sauce. There were three of us, and our friend ordered the mashed potatoes, which were among the best I've had at a steakhouse. We elected to BYOB and called ahead to ensure this was ok. They thanked me for having called ahead, said it was fine, and expressed their encouragement to give the server an additional $10, which we were happy to do. The Bordeaux we brought was served properly and happily. Our server and her assistant were friendly, informative and engaging. We found service on par with the food. I left thinking "This is what Tom Collichio wished he had invented for Craftsteak." Smith and Wollensky has a real winner on its hands, here.
  2. No contest; you should wait for dinner on a future visit. The brunch there (so I'm told) bears no relationship to the regular service, which I've had probably 20+ times since Humm arrived. FG---I think your observations and comments are spot on, and I couldn't agree more. Humm, IMHO, is one of the most talented chefs in NY right now, and perhaps the most talented in his age group. The cuisine is still being fine tuned, but is nevertheless tremendous. The service, while very good, is still not at a level to mirror the excellence of the food. You nailed that. But I think they know that and are trying to better it. By the way...I think the need a cheese cart. Also, I think in the future they'd like to carve some of the things (such as the duck) tableside...that would be really nice. A great review FG!
  3. The funny thing is, I am sure these exact places you mention are constantly being asked to do the exact thing that 'no one' would ever ask them to do. And much worse. Perhaps that explains the 'touchy' nature of this subject. ←
  4. To me, this thread is really is about the issue of hospitality in the restaurant industry. The topic of corkage just illustrates the concept. No 'right' or 'wrong' answer here...but interesting attitudes expressed. I often BYOB, but I'm a wine collector with many older bottles, and would only bring a bottle not on a restaurant's list. Of those restaurants in which I'm a regular (also in NYC btw), corkage tends to be waived because they know me but I never expect it. I also, over the years, have bought more in wine and alcohol from them when dining than I've done with BYOB. I must say, I--as a collector and consumer--was a bit put off by froggio's attitude...it doesn't, IMHO, express a sense of hospitality but almost puts the consumer in the role of adversary. I'd almost avoid this restaurant just because of the tone of his emails. Oh....I would never BYOB to a "wine restaurant." That would be absurd, and (maybe responsible for froggio's tone) insulting to the restaurant. Here, I'm thinking about places like Veritas and Cru, which (understandably) don't allow it anyway, or the newer places like Varietal.
  5. I think they received no stars because Humm arrived too late in the year to make a difference. I bet they will get recognized in the next Guide. As for Del Posto--having eaten there twice, I find it inexplicable. Maybe someone else has a feel for it. I've heard people say they had wonderful meals there but my two meals were mediocre with amateur service. I can say this--had they been in Europe, they would have no stars. They are nowhere near ** or *** food/service for places in Italy.
  6. I've been to both EMP and The Modern a number (as in more than 5) and no comparison. EMP, definitely, IMHO. More "energy" and better food at EMP.
  7. Some random thoughts: For me, the best tasting menu in town, hands down, is at Eleven Madison Park. On a night when they are firing on all cylinders, it can rival Per Se. Not as consistent as PS, not as 'technical' but more soulful and creative in a sense. My top pick. Second would be l'Atelier Robuchon. Absolutely wonderful. Masa--I can take it or leave it. Enjoyed it as theater with Chef right there performing, but no one I know who has been there--myself included--has gone back. Not because it wasn't wonderful, it just wasn't so unique or whatever that we wanted to repeat it. Del Posto--If you love Las Vegas, you'll love Del Posto. Not a 'serious' restaurant IMHO...more for the LV/tourist/B&T crowd. If you have a connection and they 'know' you, it's perhaps a different story. Babbo--fun, and a real NY scene. A bit cramped; great pastas, the main courses don't rise to the level of the pasta course IMHO. Daniel is good but certainly not cutting-edge. They have their regulars from the UES to please. Much more creative food at EMP. Unless Daniel is personally cooking for you; then its a whole different story.
  8. Say what??? Maybe sambal or ketjap (Indonesian) but surely not American ketchup!
  9. I made my first foray out to Queens a month or so ago to sample this well known restaurant. After eating there, my partner and I both said to each other "What's the big deal?" Food was just ok...perhaps a little better but not worthy of the accolades I had heard from all around, including a Malaysian friend who said it was definitely the best Thai place in NY. Maybe they have gone downhill; I can't say b/c I hadn't been there before, but the meal I had was not out of the ordinary.
  10. Agree with the above. l'Ami Louis, while an interesting restaurant, is indeed a bistro quite impressed with itself. It does not pretend to be, nor aspire to, haute cuisine anything along a Michelin ** or *** experience.
  11. Yes....I completely agree. I've dined at Per Se a number of times, and once, my partner asked our sommelier how it was he got into wine. "I used to be a waiter" he said, "But I realized there was a limit on the profit I and the restaurant could make with that. But not so with wine, so I pursued that." Can you imagine? Those words, even if true, would never be uttered in a European Michelin 3 star restaurant.
  12. Keen's steakhouse. Amongst NYC steakhouses, it is one of the best but isn't nearly as high on the radar. I had a wonderful, aged prime t-bone this weak, which was preceeded by a caesar salad beautifully prepared and dressed. In terms of food (not atmosphere or service necessarily), its well above Craftsteak IMHO.
  13. Robyn With respect, I really didn't understand the thrust of the above post. FWIW, my (recent, last week) meal at David Burke and Donatella was markedly mediocre. Two stars for Ramsay is bad news, however one looks at it.
  14. But did't most eG'ers who went to GR more or less say the same thing? Just not that interesting. Elegant but pedestrian.
  15. Woa! Two stars (**) by Bruni. This spells big time trouble for Ramsay at the London. "Eric Ripert, meet Colonel Sanders." You'll see some big changes there in the next few weeks/months.
  16. FG above referred to the Tavern, specifically, as mid-priced, with which I'd agree. Thanks for the review! Definitely on my 'try' list.
  17. I think he mentioned it was $15 corkage per bottle. Yes, it would be a gracious gesture but were I in your shoes, I wouldn't necessarily expect it. They have a policy; they're opening two bottles for you, therefore there is the additional charge. Yes, a gracious hospitality gesture would suggest waving it, but I wouldn't expect it or feel slighted if charged the second fee...it is as agreed upon.
  18. I have it on good authority that Le V and Taillevant were demoted from *** to **.
  19. I could have misinterpreted, but I assumed he meant that GR has only one restaurant in "England" with 3 Michelin stars. More telling, to me, was the cheeseburger comment.
  20. DutchMuse

    Del Posto

    Do people mostly go to the bar for the menu via a reservation, or are there many tables slotted for "walk ins?" I live in the 'hood and have often thought of going to the bar to have dinner. Have been to the dining room and was notably underwhelmed. But the bar menu is a different story.
  21. In season, it can be purchased at Murray's.
  22. Interesting comments, Daniel. Thanks for posting. Some thoughts: *That's poor form that the wine person (sommelier?) went 50% over budget without discussing it with you first. I've been to places that, I'm certain, LOST money on the wine (e.g. Eleven Madison) when I told them we had a certain wine budget--they erred on better wines, but charged the originally agreed upon price. *Unbelievable that they started cleaning while you were still eating. To me, that's simply unacceptable, bordering on unforgivable. This is supposed to be a NYT 4 star (aspiring) or Michelin 3 star (aspiring) place. Unbelievable. Again I say, unforgivable. Where was the Manager? *The food looked awfully good. *The cheese cart looked appealing but I resonate with your comment about too many choices. Sometimes (as would be found in Europe) less is more.
  23. For me--- 1) Eleven Madison Park (numerous occasions; post Chef Humm) 2) Le Cinq 3) Guy Savoy (Paris location) 4) Atelier Robuchon NYC 5) l'Ameloise 6) Ma Cuisine (honorable mention)
  24. At least he seems to have "gotten it" regarding the food/concept at EMP. That said, I agree with pups224 that Bruni seems the least knowledgeable reviewer about food in the NYT since I've been following it (Mimi Sheraton and on). Remember, they went through a few other offers before Bruni accepted (others turned it down) and before this job, he was the Rome bureau chief, and before that, wasn't he a movie critic for the Detroit Free Press? I mean that as no insult, but I don't know that he had a background in food before this job.
  25. Kudos to the new crew in the DM empire. EMP certainly deserves every one of its 3 stars. I haven't been to the Bar Room, but the main restaurant is somewhere between 2 and 3 in my book. Will have to try the Bar Room now.
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