Posts posted by sickchangeup
I went a couple of weeks ago for lunch, paid full fare and really enjoyed it - far more than I thought I would. Look forward to going back, service and food were exceptional, given it's stated purpose and approach, a Michelin Star is very worthy IMO.
For those that accepted that Per Se WAS the place (I count myself among them), it still very much IS the place. Nothing else has come along to surpass it.
As far as reasonably priced, you're gonna have to get a whole lot more specific, you could get 100 recommendations without additional parameters ($$ per diner, location, cuisine, style just to name a few)
If you find yourself in Koreatown, Cafe Muse (32nd - closer to Broadway, uptown side) is worth popping into for their red velvet cupcakes. Really good post BBQ winter dessert solution, easy to take home containers of 2. Best I've had in NY, mostly due to the fantastic cocoa flavor.
For the fine dining world, nothing comes close to EMP IMO.
Now that would be a funny argument to make. That "extra stars for Italian" Bruni would have given them more stars then "extra stars for everyone" Sifton!
I blame the designer.
I know this isn't related to Lincoln so much as Platt, but knowing very little about Platt apart from what's in this thread, this quote from a Tony Bourdain interview definitely made me think of him:
Last meal, but you've got to choose between Thomas Keller and Ferran Adria to cook it for you. Who and why?
Tough question. I guess Keller, because the French Laundry was like ... my first love. The first and to date best white tablecloth meal of my life. I'm worried about whether he's p-----, actually. I wrote a chapter in Medium Raw called "It's Not You, It's Me," largely about my seeming inability to absolutely love this amazing meal at Per Se. Basically exploring the roots of my dissatisfaction and wondering the extent to which I've become jaded, using that meal at a great restaurant as an example. It says something truly tragic about a person after all, if you can't experience the same sense of wonder and thrill you once did, at a restaurant that great and that perfectionist. It speaks badly of me, I think. Hence, the chapter title. I wonder, however, if Keller has made that distinction, or cares. I've been told Jonathan Benno (the chef at Per Se at the time) was not pleased. I seldom give a s--- about p------ people off, but those two guys I respect above most all others. It's something I feel badly about, and think about a lot. But something I'll probably continue to ask myself: What does it mean if I can't enjoy Alinea, for instance? Does it just mean I'm an a------? Or, by implication, that anyone who has eaten as widely as me, and at as many great restaurants, necessarily becomes jaded and bitter and cranky and begins to experience meals differently than normal people? It's a good argument for term limits for food critics and food writers.
How many meals do you think Platt had at Lincoln before his review.
He ate there 3 times.
keep checking opentable and hitting the "next available" link when it says nothing found. Sometimes things open up closer to the date.
Obviously this was mishandled. Badly.
BUT, what strikes me as out of bounds is calling out members of staff by name, taking it down to a very personal level about who was there, who was not, who left, who was travelling etc... I'm surprised you didn't name the server who commented on the strong flavor!
I too have a strong relationship with a very high end restaurant, and although I know 80% of the staff by name, I would NEVER make individual reference to any of them. The Chef's name is on the door, it's ALL his fault - no need to throw others under the bus, that's not your job - it's his.
In short, I think there are tasteful ways to mention your issues, but I don't think you took that route.
Was it wrong of the chef to berate you? 110%. 120%! But when you chose to take it to such a personal level against his staff, I'm guessing he takes it personal as well.
And we now have a tasting menu:
We now have a real webpage:
And a wine list to look at:
There is no way Sutton didn't understand the importance gained by his reviewing the place with a slam just a few weeks after the NYT somewhat controversially gave it 4-stars. I've had most of the dishes he had - the "next day" take on the 100 layer lasagna may be "mushy", but throwing in language referencing Hamburger Helper is purposefully sensationalist and woefully inaccurate. It's a review specifically written to attract pageviews, unfortunately at the expense of a very good restaurant.
It get's worse as it goes, sort of picks up steam. "Chef Mark Ladner’s pork loin here is no better than Babbo’s $29 chop." (Is Babbo's chop good? excellent? poor? Is anyone expecting a loin of any animal to taste better than the chop of that same animal??) The paragraph after writing he could do better at home, he starts with "A near-perfect meal starts to seem possible until service starts to fall apart in the later hours." Wait, what?? "Hamburger helper", "could do better at home", and yet the meal can be characterized as "near-perfect" until several hours in - and only ruined by service?
The irony is that I agree with a lot of the things he noticed, and noticed them myself. But I would have to be hellbent on a takedown to write it up that way, cause this place - no matter what - isn't Ninja.
Yeah, he ate a lot of the same stuff I did, and experienced a lot of the service issues I saw.
The review is still a bit mean spirited though, he's definitely driving an agenda IMO.
$45 is the standard price for NY Strip Steak, which comes from the more marbled and more sought after Short Loin.
Sirloin is from further back on the cow, and at $45 per person is just about as uh... premiumly... priced as the t-bone for two was at $120.
I will add this - they aren't really doing themselves any favors making a menu that LOOKS like A Voce's...
New menu's, most interestingly, a lunch menu with a special "local foods" strip down the middle:
Dinner has the same strip, but is not yet populated. Also noticed that the steak is now $90:
Del Posto's $95 menu certainly does look good, though I suspect it won't last, and the price of the wine list (which is not available online) may very well bump up the average check size considerably beyond what appears, at first glance, to be a very good bargain.
Link to Del Posto's wine list.
I've always enjoyed the fact that one of the VERY few French wines on the menu is Chateaux Le Gay. Gotta love that sense of humor.
The comparison to A Voce pains me - While I found A Voce to be bland, I thought far more importantly to the discussion at hand, that technicality was incredibly lacking in the preparation of food. Very different (to my mind) to Lincolns highly technically accomplished food, regardless of what you think of the flavor. Just my 2 cents.
My closest comparable (having enjoyed the food very much at both establishments) was Alto. I think this makes sense to some extent since both restaurants have a strong Piedmontese influence, both wine lists as well. LP - you may well have exposed an even greater weakness in the wine service than had already been noted above, which needless to say, is fairly critical at a high end Italian restaurant.
The only thing four star about the place is the price level.
Ironically too low a price was one of several quoted reasons that Lincoln wasn't to be a 4 star place. Now it's the only criteria that meets a 4 star rating. Quite the price point they set! :-)
We've already seen one sign that they aren't exactly doing things with the Lincoln Center crowd in mind (LOI at 10:30). Could be they don't mind the traffic (as 50 walk in seats would suggest), but aren't minded towards necessarily revolving everything around that crowd either.
As I understand it, the debate from oakapple's perspective isn't whether it is, or will be a 4 star place. It's whether Patina Group set out to make a 4-star place. This distinction is the only thing that matters cause he argues that a) They clearly didn't b) IF they didn't, then it's (historically anyways) impossible that they'll get it. It's a very sound argument.
Breaking down what they started out shooting for - Looking at the venue, it's clear they built a 4 star venue. Far more expense than necessary went into this to say otherwise, although it's unclear that this was all Patina capital and design - presumably Lincoln Center may have kicked in seeing at they are the ones that will be there forever (I have zero clue about that). Looking at the wine list, it's clearly not a 4 star wine list. The food menu is still too early for us to say whether it's a 4 star attempt cause we know more is coming. Right now it's definitely missing the high end, top flight menu option to contend for a 4 (there's no caviar, no tableside presentations, centerpiece signature dishes etc... that are omni-present in 4 star places). The quality and preparation of the ala carte menu is certainly well within the realm of 4 star ala carte menu's IMO, but that's the easy/inexpensive part of the equation.
Based on that, I must say that I agree with oakapples remote-hands assessment that they did not go into this with a 4-star or bust mentality (as Per Se and Del Posto did from day 1). I think a positive 3 star review is going to leave them very pleased, and having attained their initial goal. I'd wager that's going to be their rating (far more interesting to me is the 1 or 2 star Michelin debate - there I actually fall in the 2 star camp).
What I've disagreed with all along, and still do, is part B of oakapple's argument above. If a kick ass high end tasting menu blows the doors off, I think a 4 is in play still. I'll forever point to EMP's lunch service as the central pillar of my argument - a NYT critic was so enamored by the rest of the place that he willfully discounted their 2 star lunch program, and gave them a 4 despite it (which - lunch program now scrapped - they very likely proved they deserved some months later). The tasting menu at Collichio and Sons presumably bumped their star rating up a notch or two as well. "Impossible" and "Unlikely" are two different things in my book.
Best Pizza With A Reservation
in New York: Dining
Donatella comes to mind - solid, nice looking, takes reservations, larger menu than just pizza & plenty of wine.