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Everything posted by taion

  1. I really question this, not because I've had better in NY, but because the duck at Peking Duck House is so much worse than the stuff I've actually had in Beijing. Is PDH really as good as it gets?
  2. Using that scale, you would have to give a luxe joint serving utterly original junk 10s in all categories except the one that would lead most other raters to give the place no stars at all. Rating scales can be built to take that sort of thing into account. For example, you could assign an overall rating based on the lowest category score, which solves the luxe junk problem but doesn't solve what we might call the Imperial Palace problem: given the wine list, Sifton would've been required to give that place a bottom-rung rating. But this is basically exactly what Zagat does, and, net of issues with the reliability of Zagat ratings themselves, is not inherently flawed. In general some sort of numerical rating should probably be in place. Everything else aside, reviews are there to be useful to the reader, and being able to sort and filter to find a specific restaurant adds a lot of value. Ultimately a review is supposed to help me figure out where to eat; being forced to read through every single one helps me a lot less than being able to, say, look for all restaurants with 2 or more stars in a given area.
  3. My mental point of comparison here is more something like the tasting at Corton, which is currently $135 according to the website. Not as many sequential courses, but with the use of side dishes at Corton, comparable in the variety of food served, in my opinion. I don't think the comparison with EMP's Gourmand is quite apt – if nothing else, it takes a lot more time than the dinner tasting at Ko. ETA: Or, for that matter, the tasting at wd~50.
  4. I think it was some sort of mushroom ravioli? Relative to other options, Ko seems a fairly questionable value now at $125, especially given the lack of amenities. At this point, they're charging as much for food as the more conventional 3-star restaurants, especially given the hassle of getting a reservation at Ko. Then again, enough people seem to disagree with me that all their reservation slots are still taken every day.
  5. http://www.the-feedbag.com/profound-questions/ftc-blogger-regulation-what-does-it-mean-for-we-food-bloggers Interesting to read Ozersky make the same points he made earlier here in more detail on The Dash Feedbag.
  6. On prime nights, PDT reservations are ridiculous to get; I've literally spent half an hour straight mashing redial just to get through. You'd probably have an easier time getting a table at M&H. Though the flip side is, if you're already at Per Se, the marginal benefit of going to M&H for drinks is lower than that of going to PDT, given style of drinks and all. Although I find it quite amusing that these places are referred to as "old school", given how new they all are.
  7. It was $69 when I went last week, and the website (now updated to have the fall menu too, featuring "New York State Squab", heh) still says $69, so any price bump must have been very recent.
  8. Interesting. Do you know if it is still the case that they're serving food at the bar?
  9. Fantastic pictures – less the pork belly, the Gourmand menu was also substantially the same at the beginning of July. A little bit weird that it almost hasn't changed at all, though. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that I've had a French 75 served to me in a champagne flute at M&H before, and the last time I ordered a Death in the Afternoon at White Star, it was definitely served in a champagne flute. I'm pretty sure the flute is the canonically correct option for things based on champagne, though I guess I haven't had anything champagne-based at any of the SCBs that fall more into the modern-ish vein.
  10. Tailor claims to be serving an expanded bar menu for the remainder of August, but I've never been by to check, and I don't know offhand how vegetarian-friendly their menu is. I don't know offhand if Ssam Bar is still as anti-vegetarian as they were; for my money, though, if I wanted to get a dinner at a good restaurant that also offered top-notch drinks that are characteristic of the NY cocktail scene, Ssam Bar would be my first pick.
  11. I went there a month ago, and only got an empty caviar tin with no menu inside.
  12. Are we reading the same review here? The entire narrative seemed to me to be that EMP has improved dramatically.
  13. taion


    I do wish they had more than just that one dessert, though. Maybe I just go there too often.
  14. taion


    I go there in jeans and a t-shirt all the time! My favorite dish there right now is the grilled octopus and avocado salad, but the tasting menus are probably the smart choice for ordering.
  15. The phone # actually changed again at the end of May, but I'm not sure if we're allowed to distribute the new one, since it's not the same as the one on the website. Their email seems to work fine, though.
  16. I agree with this one, though as you note it's polarizing because the people who don't like Mason's cuisine are rather vocal about it. The place changed considerably after the reviews, but unfortunately there's usually no way to get the critics back again.Seäsonal is another great example. The Times didn't review it at all. ← I thought they got one star? ← Nope. Not reviewed in The Times. I am positive. It was covered only in Dining Briefs. ← Platt gave them 3 stars, though: http://nymag.com/restaurants/reviews/56729/
  17. Ate there last night and came out suitably impressed. They have three levels of wine pairings now – one from their by-the-glass list in the 60s, one from the country wines list in the 80s, and the pick-your-price Burgundy/Bordeaux pairing starting at like 110 and going up to whatever. Service was mostly as expected, with only two noticeable glitches. There was a delay in taking our wine order (it was taken just after the amuses were served), probably because our captain had the sommelier come by to discuss wine pairings with us after we told her that we were interested in the tasting menu, and after having the pairings described to us, asked the sommelier to come back in a few minutes after we had decided (we opted for the middle tier of wine pairings and were duly rewarded). The other was that the server knocked the salmon skin chip off my salmon on accident while saucing the dish, so the skin chip ended up getting soggy (but it was still good, and the rest of the course was still incredibly good). Comparing and contrasting a bit with UE's blog entry – The uni is now topped with caviar, which works very nicely with the rest of the little course. As noted, the foie is now on the tasting menu. The salmon was absolutely stunning, perfectly cooked, with incredibly intense vegetables on the side, enough so that I didn't think the summer truffles that it now comes with actually added all that much. I enjoyed the squab quite a bit, with the fat adding a nice contrast to the breast meat, but I can see how some might not enjoy it quite as much. The raspberry dessert was indeed excellent. Definitely one of the best meals I've had in quite a while. A few other little interesting quirks. Grub Street mentioned Aureole's planned "parallel tasting menu", but I think the side dishes at Corton really already basically do this. Sure, they're in smaller portions, but they're interesting and distinctive enough that they almost do count as additional courses in the same way, making Corton an even better value than it appears at first. On the flip side, this gets a little out of control. We were seated at the little two-top closest to the entrance (maybe not the best table in the house, but wasn't too much of a problem), and at some points, the use of table real estate was a little ridiculous – for the foie course: two large plates with the foie, two smaller bowls for the side dish, two small plates for the brioche, plus a little block with a butter for the brioche; all this in addition to two bread plates, two water glasses, two wine glasses, and the two kinds of butter that were already there. This used up table real estate to an extent that it was a little silly that the actual foie came on one of the typical large, mostly empty plates, rather than maybe a smaller one that would have been more appropriate to the amount of room available on the table. I think what made Corton really click for me was that the food, while intellectually satisfying, did not depend on being enjoyable intellectually. Unlike with, say, wd~50, everything could be enjoyed without devoting lots of thought to the food, but thinking harder made things better. That's more or less my sweet spot for food complexity.
  18. Ssam Bar's cocktail program is now pretty good, too, at least when Don's there. Probably not quite at the level of the top dedicated cocktail bars, especially since (I think) it's not fully up to speed yet, but significantly better than the typical "good restaurant cocktail program".
  19. Actually, all of Jack Lamb's restaurants are Deathwatched, oddly enough. Degustation is definitely a fantastic value, and I'm a huge fan of the restaurant. It seems to get less attention from the food sites, even though the attention that it does get seems to be fairly positive; on the flip side, it's not quite as easy to walk into as Ssam Bar, for example. But I don't think it's as underappreciated as many of the other restaurants listed here. JLOB is very underappreciated, though; it gets almost zero publicity and attention, and certainly deserves more than that.
  20. White Star is also a pretty good deal – $7/cocktail before 9 PM, which I think is one of the best deals anywhere. Not that much more out of the way than a certain affiliated bar that charges more than twice as much!
  21. Why is the margin of error with free-pouring small measures unacceptable, but the margin of error with dashes of bitters just fine?
  22. Was it purely because of his status as a regular, or did your identity also play a role? I mean, not everyone is a director at the FCI.
  23. Not on the menu. I'm sure they would make you one if you asked nicely, but Phil's cocktails are so creative and complex I would really encourage you to try them. ← I have, and they are good, and I do enjoy them (:But a classic is a classic, and damn tasty itself to boot, eh? Sometimes you just want an Martini or a Manhattan or something!
  24. Are there really no margaritas? Not even the classic version?
  25. I like how their website is dead already. How bad are the lines?
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