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Everything posted by sickchangeup

  1. The subsequent Diner's Journal "supplement"
  2. That quote was me backing up my "seems Bryan got it right" statement. The apologetic part was the way the article read to me, he goes on and on explaining different things, even saying "They're still young and will improve even more!" at the end. I probably should have started a new paragraph in between the first two sentences of my post.
  3. edited to add: This is in reference to the follow-up entry I link to at the bottom of this post This is a bit awkward, Bruni expounds so long on why he gave 4 stars to EMP that it almost reads like an apology. It seems Bryan hit the nail in the head FWIW. "If Eleven Madison wasn’t exactly as steady as Le Bernardin or exactly as dazzling as Per Se, wasn’t the greater ease with which it could be navigated a compensatory virtue all its own?" Wasn't it just 2 months ago that people (myself excluded) were yelling because Daniel got it's 4 stars re-affirmed on the strength of the new room and service standards - but not food? This seems awfully similar to that after reading Bruni's latest - that something other than the food gave it 4 stars. Of course eG loves EMP, and hates Daniel, so I'll probably get yelled at for comparing the two. link
  4. Well, the obvious is now even more obvious. From Bruni himself: "Maybe, during his tenure, he’ll elevate an Italian restaurant to the four-star pantheon. None is currently there" (by his, he's referring to Sifton) link
  5. 2 courses, I'd say easily - especially if you forewarn the house about your plans. 3 courses would be a bit rough, I'd agree with ellenost's assessment. I would honestly call them and ask.
  6. I think part of the problem is the meal you go there for. At a regular 2 course lunch, the food is good but regular - 2 stars. The lunch tasting reminded me more of 3 star food. Regular dinner is around there too. The Gourmand was clearly a 4 star meal. Bruni probably eats the latter, and probably none of the former. This doesn't happen at LeB, JG or Per Se.
  7. That much I agree with (incredibly strongly with Per Se, less so with JG, much less so with LeB). I just don't understand why this would preclude them from also being a 4 star establishment. Daniel is certainly no way the equal of those three either. edited to add: I also agree Bruni was incredibly unfair with ADNY, and overly generous re-reviewing EMP so much.
  8. In my experience, it's done exactly that. I doubt it, but I suppose anything is possible.
  9. Just returned from EMP, site of my first Gourmand meal which ended just a short while ago. From walking in, it was clear the staff had an extra pep in their step, and any doubt that a four star review was coming left me quite quickly. Not saying they knew for 100% certain, but it definitely felt like they knew. Around 8:30 a cheer shot up from the bar area (which had been packed since I arrived), and the restaurant - for the most part - broke out into applause. As I was getting ready to make my way out around 9, a second massive wave of applause broke out, Chef Humm had come out to the bar area to receive his congrats from friends and regulars. Having been approached by him for a chat just an hour earlier, the man is happy and it shows; having little to complain about in my own life, I felt a twinge of jealousy as Chef was regaled with people just waiting to extend their excited congratulations. Great moment. The meal I had today leaves little doubt in my mind that they are capable of that fourth star. I didn't experience perfection in food as I do regularly at Per Se. I didn't experience the result of refinement of a single dish over a 10+ year period as I do at JG. But I experienced 4 star dining, of that there is little doubt - and one that is as different from any other as JG or Le Bernardin is from Per Se and Masa. What surprised me the most was the fun that had been injected into the meal, from the tin of caviar to start, to a sea urchin shaped bowl, to "spherisized" preludes to future courses. My own experiences with EMP seems to mirror those of the NYT reviewers, there has been considerable and material progress made over a 5 year period. I think Bruni did a real disservice to one truly exceptional area of the restaurant: the bar. And he did it by not mentioning it - hands down this is the best cocktail service at any restaurant I have experienced in NY, and I've left feeling that way more than once. My thanks to Dutchmuse as well. While I don't share her preference for EMP over Per Se, anyone that's been to Per Se 20+ times as I have, and still states a preference for a 2nd restaurant definitely catches my eye - wouldn't have had a great meal without that tip of the cap.
  10. It simply has to be a 4, anything else would be awful (2) or pointless (3)
  11. Can you elaborate on this? From what I can tell, you also dine regularly enough at Per Se that you get some extra perks when you go. It fascinates me that you would come close to comparing the two on the same scale, need more details!
  12. Was 3 stars 10 years ago during the Grimes era, and has (by default) retained it's ranking. I think Bruni is mostly right, with simple food it comes down to execution, which falls down sometimes - even on classics like the calamari. Only the tuna tartare and garlic chips strike me as infallible. I'm also guessing he ate dinner there mostly given his description of "7pm seating rush", which I also find to be a great deal less appealing than the lunch there. Either way, I think it's hard to argue they are doing 3 star food, it was more of a correction than a takedown I think.
  13. For sake of completeness, I am now off! They called today and all taken care of.
  14. They call it a "parkerhouse" roll, which I'm sure there are plenty of recipes for on the internet. Just look for the recipe with the most butter I'm guessing :-).
  15. My suggestion exactly. Explain that you've been trying to cancel the impending charge without success and tell the card company to not allow the charge. ← Well, I just started. If it's still this way in a week or two (which I really doubt), then yeah I may consider it.
  16. Yeah, hopefully I just called at the wrong time :-)
  17. First call back and the system actually hangs up before the voicemail system kicks in. Calling right back once again get's me a busy tone. Wait 2-3 minutes, call back and now I've left a voicemail. Due to their very considerate mail advising me I'm going to be auto-renewing if I don't do anything, I actually have a month left to get this done, so I'm pretty sure I'm good.
  18. Same routine as before, but the operator picks up this time, then proceeds to transfer me right back to the number that I dialed initially which no one picks up obviously (ironically the recorded voice says I've reached the "corporate sales line"). My only option (unless I decide to chose the operator once more) appears to be to leave a voicemail and wait for them to get back to me.
  19. So I got an email from the Zagat Guide telling me that my subscription was about to auto-renew. I didn't even know I had one, although looking back on my statement from a year ago, I see the $24.95 fee there. Well, needless to say, I want this to stop. I visit the website, login and look for the option to cancel (or not auto-renew). Not available. Instead there is a number. I call the number, but no one picks up. I get the option to speak to an operator, which I take. I tell her "Hi, I want to cancel my subscription", she says "hold" , then hangs up on me. I call back - line is busy. I wait about 2-3 minutes, then try again. Again, no one picks up, so I chose the operator option. It rings for a long time this time, then someone picks up and hangs up without saying hello. I'm guessing they have caller ID? So I try to call back - busy again. Currently waiting my 2-3 minutes before trying again.
  20. I couldn't disagree more with Pan, I am consistently blown away by a good number of JG dishes, even after eating them 5+ times. For what passes as "4 star", this is definitely right up there, failing only (in my eyes) to Per Se. And for the money? Yikes, I wish I could make it here more often. At lunch today I learned that as sad as I have been to see a favorite item disappear from the menu in the past, I get just as happy seeing an old favorite re-appear! The charred corn raviolis are back (as noted) as is one of my very favorites, the peekytoe crab and squash blossom beignet. And yes, it was $29 plus $14.50. And white marshmallows only, caramel macarons (although these were medium sized, not mini like in the past), and 4 or 5 different chocolates for mignardises. I actually prefer this arrangement, rose marshmallows weren't my bag. Amuse was a Keller style "compressed" watermelon cube, poached quail egg with bacon and lemongrass and kafir lime soup shot. I didn't have the stones to go for that Cucumber-Yogurt Soup that seems new to me on the menu, but I did notice that the sweetbreads were off. Here is the obligatory frighteningly bad photo of the menu:
  21. Even in a recession, hope springs eternal :-)
  22. Month by month, the deal get's less good :-( Did they have three flavors in the jar in front of you? That would be mean.
  23. I'd say a decent number of people are dressed "datey" (for obvious reasons). I personally wouldn't go jeans/t-shirt, at least perhaps the next step up. I wouldn't recommend a dish (I'd recommend a 10 course tasting), but rather a wine - the txakoli wine is delicious. The dessert there is really good too, the soaked/caramelized bread pudding.
  24. I'm legitimately curious, is there anyone who believes this that went back to back with a UPN pie?
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