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Everything posted by sickchangeup

  1. Have reservations here tonight at 8, anyone know if the latest menu is posted anywhere? I checked here and on their site only.
  2. First Michelin Star'ed place bites the dust: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/200...sel-is-closing/
  3. I see your note about it not mattering, but while I'm maybe in the minority (or entirely mistaken), I don't think of Keller as the chef of Per Se at all. It's Benno's menu every single night, he's in the kitchen all the time, and at a place where going off menu can lead to the truest pleasure, this matters a great deal. I only make this distinction because at 99% of "Chef" owned restaurants (including a couple of Keller's), the Chef de Cuisine is pretty much just executing someone else's menu (save perhaps a special here or there), which isn't what's happening at Per Se. It's a Benno restaurant in my eyes. Don't think that was me, I like the place a lot and have never had less than a great time eating there. In fact, I have a reservation there for my birthday dinner as we speak (just have to convince my wife that a Gourmand menu won't literally kill her... I don't think...)
  4. As one moderately famous FatGuy wrote, it's cause you are! sethd: If you've been going there monthly for 7+ years, you aren't exactly the model profile for how service will be for the initiator of this thread. And it's somewhat self-evident that you do get that service, or else why would you still be going back that often? Personally, I go to LeB annually, every year on the same date for 4 years now. I don't expect any special treatment, and due to the gap am not surprised that I have never gotten a welcome back or felt anything "warm" from the front of the house. That's probably because for my part, LeB is very technical in it's service, that's how I've grown to perceive them. The butter get's replaced before you reach the half-way mark of the last pat every time. I notice cause it kills me to think it's going to waste, and I want to whisk that last butter semi-pat out and give it a good home before it runs away. The plates and silverware are whisked away. Your wine is delivered and poured beautifully. This is all above reproach in my mind. But in my experience neither the room nor the service/servers/bus boys/sommeliers are "warm", there are no smiles, it's all very efficient and technical. Now I don't mind this at all personally, I don't consider it a detriment cause the service is technically tip top. But at the same time, I'd be amiss if I didn't point out that it's simply not comparable to Per Se (who is?), where everything is technical AND warm, where they go the extra mile to accommodate, then go another mile after that to make you feel very well taken care of. I'm going to LeB in 2 weeks actually, breaking my annual gap spell - I guess we'll see :-)
  5. Clearly your father provided an admirable level of service. Given the engagement situation looming and being so special, I think it shows a lot that your dad went to that level of effort for the gentleman. I think for something like that though, more than just a handful of restaurants in the city would try to do the same, or at least I think there are a number of GM's who would think to do something similarly accomodating. With that important a life event, I think the bar is raised a bit in terms of accommodation. Now to continue to have that crappy bottle years later, that's off the charts!
  6. Ok, now that the eye has stopped twitching, and by way of continuing the discourse, I would say you come across to me (IMHO as they say) as an exceptionally (repeat) picky diner, to the point of wondering how you could ever possibly enjoy any meal served anywhere? I mean, a restaurant is meant to have someone run out to the supermarket to pick you up an out of season vegetable to add to a dish cause you don't like it the way it is? And to fail this is a test of good service? Good god man! I can barely even touch on the alternating current of expressing a like for "genuine" personality, while hating on anything revealing it outside of a narrow muted behavioral window, then docking service for being too scripted, while providing at least three scripts for what words should or should not be spoken at each instance (or else!) in the span of about 5 paragraphs on service. Clearly you have a passion for the subject, but that passion seems to have led you down an incredibly intolerant and ultimately damaging (to the enjoyment of the meal) path from where I sit (save at Per Se and Lupa).
  7. What happened to ADNY if it was so successful? ← They lost their lease if Chef Ducasse is to be taken at his word. Something else if he is not.
  8. I just tried to read through your posts while pretending that I was in training to serve you food in a restaurant, and now my left eye won't stop twitching. Thank God for $275 a plate restaurants huh? (and Lupa apparently!)
  9. I'm with FG, Per Se (and formerly ADNY) have an extra gear in reserve that to my experience other restaurants in the city just don't have. If they keep it in 4th gear on any given night, the two restaurants (LeB with chef's menu per Bz) are fairly comparable depending on taste. But if they go into 5th gear for whatever reason... forget about it, dining as you know it will be redefined.
  10. The Feedbag has a good interview today. quote from it: So what’s on the menu now? Well, we have a tuna tartare, but it looks like beef tartare. It has Asian flavors — dashi gelee, pickled daikon, citrus zest. We set it in a ring mold but on top, instead of an egg yolk, we have miso ahi amarillo dressing that’s been spherified. OK, I have no idea what that means. It looks like an egg and breaks, but it isn’t an egg. Chris Lee Interview
  11. The conceptual issue goes something like this (and I'm injecting humor cause I don't think this is that serious a discussion, although I wasn't joking when I wrote that I was maddeningly infuriated): People complain that this place doesn't "get it" when it comes to NY'ers palettes. To some extent, the success and reviews of the place to date bears this theory out. So does the chef change. Mr. Ducasse counters back that NY'ers "don't get" bistros, that we need to be educated by our journalists, and that after we learn about proper French food, we'll like the place. Well, to my mind, the two dishes above illustrate the core of the debate perfectly. On the one hand we have the french traditional fillet mignon dish, beautifully presented, well cooked, high quality products, a dish that could grace the cover of a food weekly publication in France - and (if you follow my argument) one that NY'ers simply don't give a s**t about. Our meat hierarchy in NY goes something like this: porterhouse ribeye NY strip hanger brisket [...snip...] lips balls fillet None of NY's glorious steakhouses today would be alive if their main cut was "fillet", and yes I'm aware that half of a proper porterhouse is a fillet - luckily almost everyone short of Porterhouse in Time Warner passes off T-bones as Porterhouses and what we mostly eat is the delicious Strip, with a side of charred fillet covered in beef grease and appropriately aged. To be more brief about my argument: the traditional fillet mignon dish above is something that I feel I could expect to get as a daily special in about 50 places around town, including such luminaries as Les Halles, Steak Frittes and other giants of the "this is boring french food being turned out by line cooks" genre. There is nothing interesting about it in my view, and having a big D, err.. a big B at the bottom of the plate doesn't change that. The frustration comes in when this place, a Ducasse establishment!, goes ahead and produces something brilliant like the ribeye with black truffle and foie, a dish that looks and reads as rich and actually adds something to the discourse of this intensely beefy city our ours, a dish whose roots are in some stuffy french dish, but which is now suitably adapted to life in Gotham (a French dish wearing a batman suit if you will), they go ahead and do away with it. Why?!? I was 100% certain I'd be consuming the ribeye dish within 3 months after markk posted a photo and instructions of how to get it. There was no doubt, a trip to Benoit was happening, I just needed the occasion for it. I was excited. Who wasn't after reading markk's original post? Whereas the dish in the second picture that came later? Why would I bother?
  12. It's just maddeningly infuriating seeing a restaurant turn something as beautifully rustic, fatty, flavorful and calibrated to our city's taste as THIS (a true addition to the beef scene in a beef saturated market from the looks of it): into something as generically vacuous as THIS: I mean honestly, filet mignon?? Sure, it looks great on a plate, but who is ever gonna order that in NY apart from tourists? And to compound the issue, I'm willing to bet that while option A cost $100, option B costs over $40. markk - Am I off the mark here, how did the two dishes compare on taste?
  13. In other words, to my taste, totally horribly different from before :-(
  14. He got into it pretty badly with some folks in the comments over a discussion or two and decided to move the site to be a free sign-up site rather than just an open blog. One discussion surrounded the chef's opinion that food cannot be described as "sexy" - and the discussion got personal in the comments from there.
  15. sickchangeup


    We had the pre-theatre AND restaurant week menu all in one go tonight (5:30 resy). Without going into the food too much, the restaurant week menu had a side-note saying that we could add one of several special starter courses being offered that night to our meal (no mention of price). After asking our waitress about them, she said the extras could either be made into an extra course, or could be thrown into the middle of the table while we ate our first course. We had them served as an extra course, after the raw meze we chose for first courses off the two menus. The three choices today for extras were an arctic char meze, charred octopus or olive hilopita pasta with chicken livers and bacon. We picked the last two and basically added an extra course to our already cheap menu's ($35 & $38 respectively) and here's the kicker: were only charged an extra $9 per dish. For a couple looking to try as much of the chef's food as we could before running over to cort theatre, this was incredibly well thought out and felt like a nice gift in the proper spirit of what restaurant week should, but rarely is about - just wanted to share. And I would definitely recommend the octopus :-)
  16. Anyone tried the now semi-somewhat-not-really-permanent $24 3 course lunch menu? It's not listed anywhere, in fact I only heard cause my wife caught it as part of a byline in a longer nymag article, but calling the restaurant confirmed that you get a choice from 3 apps, entrees and 2 desserts that changes roughly each week. Seems like a fantastic deal, anyone given it a shot?
  17. I recently noticed that if I go here between 3:00p to 5:00p any day of the week, as a museum member I get a nice 10% discount. Motivated by this news, and having only ever eaten here once at dinner (I've always gone for the delicious meat board and tiramisu from the 2nd floor cafe when visiting the museum), I thought I'd check out the menu and plan for a late lunch next week. I also figured that in this economic climate, a bar menu would be a nice little money saver, until I saw... Lo and behold, the $29 dollar HALF-ENTREE... lamb chop!? tadda! Roasted Opal Farm Lamb Chop with cumin-scented shank stew, chick peas, and minted cucumber salad 29. (from the menu, it says "those on page three are half-entrée portions." This is listed on page 3) Holy schnikes!! Anyone eaten half of this lambs $58 chop? By way of comparison, Harry Cipirani will sell you an Australian Grilled Lamb Chop for $59.95, and they are the ridicule of sky high priced lunacy the world around. Perhaps Opal Farms is the next level up from Elysian Fields lamb? Anyways, I'm kind of poking fun here, cause the Alsatian Pizza was worth every penny when I ate it, and someone in the best dish ever thread just said their tartare is off the charts, so that's on my list - I'm still going, just not gonna order the lamb :-).
  18. Somewhat of a non sequitur, but don't forget the guys and girls downstairs. It's more like six chefs/cooks (or seven, if you count Chang occasionally bumbling around) for twelve diners. ← My understanding was that the downstairs chefs were prepping for the next meal. A crew of three arrives around 8am for lunch, the dinner crew arrives in the early afternoon - three each, mostly (not entirely) prepping for their upcoming service, not the current one. Then a dish guy thrown in there somewhere as well.
  19. If there is any info about this, I think we'd all be interested to hear about it. ← I tried to hit up the Milk Bar last Friday night and found myself $$blocked by a private party that took up the whole of Milk Bar, which was closed off for the evening. They were not eating sweets, guessing the Ssam Kitchen was servicing them. Every single seat at every single table was occupied and the tables had been lowered to seating level. Plenty o' wine on the tables, seemed like a corporate gig, but I didn't pay too much attention. The printed black on white paper sign fended people off, and asked them to return tomorrow instead. The hallway between Ssam Bar and Milk Bar had a cord across it with the same paper posted. Was pretty unhappy, but a trip to JAS Mart for Strawberry Mochi and Milk Creme Roll Cake solved the problem in due course.
  20. They brought in Chris Lee from Gilt, which is something I am very much looking forward to. We returned twice to Aureole after Dante Bocuzzi left, and Aiazzi was cooking and only really ate one good dish in both trips combined. The drinks menu still kicked ass, and they were one of the first to advertise a cocktail pairing menu, so they got my business until the food really went South. The move will also make them more casual (no more jackets required) and more accessible (they will be in midtown, near Bryant Park), whether they retain the Relais, well, they have a long way to go, but its possible. edited to add: They are going to the "Green" Bank of America Building in Bryant Park, and moving sometime this spring. They remain in the townhouse for now.
  21. Hilarious, that definitely make me want to try it. What's the truffle pizza? Never heard of it, was it just on the menu?
  22. Guys, part of the fun is having to pick one dish! If you limit it to one dish, then you give people reading something to shoot for, with too many there is no way to make sure you try them all. Bobster - I'd never heard of anyone getting a whole chicken at Per Se, that definitely sounds like an awesome dish! AEK - Is that a new or old Bouley dish? We tried the Black Truffle Dashi with the Porcini flan at the new Bouley and loved it.
  23. Just watched the FN TV Special that asked several of their food personalities various questions around what the best dish (entree, dessert, breakfast etc...) they ever ate was. Many of the dishes were in NY, and I believe all were dishes that you could get today still. This got me thinking about what people here think their single best ever NY dish is, cause after watching the special, I am definitely interested in visiting a couple of the places mentioned that I haven't been to before. So let's have it, what's the best dish you ever ate in the city? To keep in the spirit of the exercise, maybe we can limit it to any dish of any kind, but one that is still being served to the public today. I'm loathe to start cause my answer is a bit boring, but the truth is that the best dish I ever ate in NY is Per Se's White Truffle Oil Custard with Black Truffle Ragout and Chive Chip.
  24. EMP is now offering 1000 opentable points, M-R from 5:30 to 8:00PM. Effectively $10 worth eventually.
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