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Everything posted by DutchMuse

  1. Went back to Quality Meats as a follow-up, having phoned the GM first as he had asked us to do. They showed a very classy response....they were ready for us, gave us a nice table with a very capable and friendly waiter, and clearly wanted to make ammends. The food was good (as it was before; just service issues before). So....I appreciated their nice response and their clear efforts to make things right. A couple of things--I really observed a difference in comfort between sitting at a table for 4 (with space around it) versus being 2 people seated in the back against the wall. Its crowded, more loud, and seemingly more harried wait staff there. Best to go as a party of 4 or more to have more comfortable seating. Makes a big difference. They no longer encourage BYOB, but that's fine with me. Their policy is their policy. I did speak to the wine director and suggested more Bordeaux wines on the list. He thanked me but mentioned their orientation is to promote American wines; still, he listened. So.....I appreciate the GM's efforts and they clearly want to cultivate repeat customers. I'll definitely return.
  2. I think it's the former. Hung and Howie make for too much drama to cut 'em loose this early. So I thought either Joey or Sara was going to go. ← On the credits at the end, there is a disclaimer that the decisions of who is eliminated is based on the judge's deliberations and consultation or input from the Producers. (I forget the exact wording but its close to that). They acknowledge that the producers have input so as to make for interesting episodes.
  3. Both may have two stars from the Times but I don't know a single NY'er who would put them in the same category of quality or creativity.
  4. On Top Chef, she is referred to as "sous chef" at JG.
  5. All the above are great recs; I'd second Eleven Madison Park and Jean Georges. If you want something 'very NY scene' then Momofuku Ssam Bar as well, as also mentioned above.
  6. $2K p/p at Veritas (we had some great wine).
  7. I wanted to give a follow-up report. When I had left, I asked the GM to call me at his convenience, and they said he would be away for a day or two. Dutifully, he called today, and I related to him the above experience. He was very receptive and seemed very much to listen and noted that they had planned for a slow night (I think it was July 4 maybe when I ate there?) and they were slammed...anyway...I was satisfied with the conversation and in the spirit of Nathan's comment, I will return and hopefully the experience will return to the 'normal' QM hospitality I had experienced before.
  8. Yes.....indeed you are correct....but the FOH issues seemed to occur at every level. Let's hope this was a very odd abberation. But as my partner pointed out to the manager....to the tables to both our left, right and including our own, 100% of the people were dissatisfied. But you're right....I should go back and see with an open (and hopeful) mind.
  9. Don't be so quick to dismiss the effect of a poor server on the experience. There were many FOH flops, from the 'attitude' conveyed regarding BYOB, to being seated, and then the rolling of the eyes of the waiter. Food was good....no disappointments there though both people at the table to my right sent their steaks back. But who wants to go to a steakhouse where the food is "good" (not profound) where one has such an ill-feeling about the whole experience? This is a huge deviation from the way I used to experience this restaurant; hence my disappointment.
  10. I have been bragging about this place....even encouraging the standard bearers of Collichio's place (Craftsteak) to break from tradition and go there. No more! Started with me calling to confirm the corkage policy...the hostess put me on hold and a higher up came on the phone, speaking as a school marm...."Sir, we have changed the policy...only wines not on the list, $35 per wine, but only with the prior approval of the food & beverage manager") (never mind he wasn't there tonight)...but even that didn't bother me. I was fine with ordering off the list. Looking forward to a terrific night....when we got there, the waiter was extremely impatient; when I asked for the list of gins, he reeled off Tanquaray, Plymouth; Hendrick's; I said "I think there's one from San Francisco on your list" to which he rolled his eyes, left, came back and said no. I asked for the sommelier....he said "Yes....we have one... # 209" or whatever the number was....ordered that. Several steps further, the waiter kept rolling his eyes; the table to our right sent their steaks back as improperly cooked; the table to the left had brought a bottle of wine and was unceremoniously denied....until they pressed it, then reluctantly allowed. Major disappointment.__________________
  11. You won't go wrong at JG. DB&D may have a good dessert but the food, overall, isn't in the top tier by any stretch.
  12. You must put this in a book! Lots of people would buy it; there is simply no equivalent English language book on the topic, and lots of people of dutch descent would want to own it!
  13. Even if the guy gave the truthful answer, there probably was a better answer to be given to promote bettr customer service. (Kind of like the sommelier at a *** restaurant who, when asked how he became a sommelier, replied 'because I can make more of a profit that way.' Truthful but not the best reply.) In this case, I think he should have said "in the price range you've indicated, we have some great wines for summer drinking that I'd certainly enjoy. Any of these would be terrific. If you want a special wine, which I have tried several times, for a special occasion, I could recommend other choices too but the ones I've suggested are great." Then its up to the patron to ask for the 'special' recommendation. Otherwise--truthful or not--we have lots of discussion of people's reactions, many negative, as well as the reaction of the patron which was on the negative side to the comment. Even if truthful, not good customer service.
  14. I love Carmellini's cooking. That said, I had an awful FOH experience...so bad I haven't as yet returned, though I suppose I should get over it and go back. After the experience (in which I was told, at the table, "you're free to leave at any time" and I did), I called and asked for the GM....they connected me with the mid-level manager with whom I had the altercation. I asked if the GM could return my call later. The next day, the (I presume) GM manager called back and when I told her the story, she was very apologetic and urged me to return. She handled it quite well....but it left (no pun intended) such a bad taste in my mouth I haven't gone back. My impression is Carmellini isn't served well by the FOH issues as have been discussed in other posts, which is a shame because he's great I think.
  15. That would be 2 seatings - not 1.5. With 1.5 seatings - some people are starting their dining at 7-8. Robyn ← I guess so....I just ask AMEX Centurion to make the reservations and they only offer options for 5:30 or 9 or 9:30....was never given any other option but maybe that's just with AMEX Centurion?
  16. I've never heard of a 7pm rez at Per Se...only the 5:30 (or is it 5:45?) and 9pm.
  17. Yes...I must confess, despite my dutch background, I was thinking of service in France and southern Belgium to be examples of 'proper service' at many levels. But yes....service in places like Holland would be equal, or inferior, to service in the USA.
  18. Great report and pics FG! Thanks for the word.
  19. I think we see it the same way.
  20. Different in many ways...e.g. in the sense that the customer isn't typically rushed. You can sit all day and read a book and have coffee, etc. I am a member of a European wine tasting organization.....the hotels donate facilities, a sommelier(s) to pour, etc...very proper service. Very different from the USA. (I'm an American by birth btw). Lots of other things different...and by that I mean a different sensibility in Europe.
  21. Maybe I got us off on the wrong foot by using words like "capitalism." I guess the bottom line is that, when I visit Europe, the service attitude and feel is entirely different than in the USA. This occurs at restaurants large and small, grand and informal. Don't you experience the same thing?
  22. FG Why couldn't you have had a similar experience at a Michelin ** or *** restaurant? Listen to this anecdote. Less than a year ago, I made a reservation at Le Cinq in Paris (at that time Michelin ***, now **) and stupid me, I showed up 1 night too early--a Sat night when the rez was for Sun night. Long story short....I negotiated back and forth as you did.....I was there at 7:30....they had a 9:15 reservation... I persuaded them to give me the table until 9 and then I and my companion would move to the foyer and have cheese and dessert. After some talking (just as you did), they agreed and it worked beautifully. It did happen in Paris at (then) a *** restaurant. Why would you think it couldn't happen?
  23. It really is an excellent example of the American focus on capitalism versus the European focus on service. No European restaurant (including a local bistro) would consider "throwing you out" or giving a time limit. It just wouldn't happen; wouldn't occur to them. Any restaurant that put that kind of time restraint on me would just not get my business. For this reason, I have never gone to the "first seating" (sounds like a cruise ship) at Per Se.
  24. Giannone chickens from Canada, sold at a few places in NYC (like Jefferson Market). They are wonderufl!
  25. Wonderfully successful! I will return tomorrow but the highlight was going to Ed Mitchell's, having that amazing 'cue, and meeting FG! Having seen his avatar/picture, I recognized him....but how does one say "Are you Fat Guy" in case you are wrong? Mercifully, I remembered his true name, and he responded. Nice meeting you in person Steven! I loved it all, but I must say, the food at Ed Mitchell's was hands down the winner. We started there, made all the stops along the way, and then circled back for one more sandwich before leaving! In fact, here's a picture of Ed Mitchell, giving a primer to FG, with the wood and the new smoker:
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