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Lacroix has a new chef ....


shacke
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Matt Levin left the helm at Lacroix and 24 yr old Jason Cichonski is now in charge of the kitchen. He worked under Matt as sous chef.

It just so happens that we are slated to dine there next Saturday (for now) and was curious if anyone knows anything about this new chef and - perhaps - even been there since the changeover?

Thanks

Dough can sense fear.

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Matt Levin left the helm at Lacroix and 24 yr old Jason Cichonski is now in charge of the kitchen.  He worked under Matt as sous chef.

It just so happens that we are slated to dine there next Saturday (for now) and was curious if anyone knows anything about this new chef and - perhaps - even been there since the changeover?

Thanks

We're going for brunch on Sunday to celebrate a birthday. I have a current copy of their menu and we did brunch during the Lacroix era. I'll report back (I don't do pix). Any idea where Matt Levin landed?

Jim

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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Matt Levin left the helm at Lacroix and 24 yr old Jason Cichonski is now in charge of the kitchen.  He worked under Matt as sous chef.

It just so happens that we are slated to dine there next Saturday (for now) and was curious if anyone knows anything about this new chef and - perhaps - even been there since the changeover?

Thanks

We're going for brunch on Sunday to celebrate a birthday. I have a current copy of their menu and we did brunch during the Lacroix era. I'll report back (I don't do pix). Any idea where Matt Levin landed?

Jim

Why Matt Levin Left LaCroix- Inq Dec. 9

Says he will open his own place. When and where TBD.

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How fortuitous! Our kids gave us a very generous gift certificate to LaCroix and I didn't want to use it until the post-Levin dust settled before going there.

I know nothing about Jason Cichonski, but I have to wonder about his cooking chops at age 24.

Edited by Mano (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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How fortuitous!  Our kids gave us a very generous gift certificate to LaCroix and I didn't want to use it until the post-Levin dust settled before going there. 

I know nothing about Jason Cichonski, but I have to wonder about his cooking chops at age 24.

I did too but Chip Roman is about the same age and is cooking up some good fare at Blackfish - in fact it gets better each time I go there.

Dough can sense fear.

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if you have any doubts about the quality of jason's food or his experience, just go eat. he is very talented and his been cooking high end food for a lot longer than one would think.

he's had his hand in the pot for awhile now.....

"the soul contains three elements in dining: to feel, to remember, to imagine." --andoni luiz aduriz

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We were disappointed in Lacroix overall. Really - the service was terrific and friendly but the food we had was nowhere near where it should be for a place like Lacroix.

I think our mistake might have been ordering the tasting menu. First off - and I have rarely found this to be an issue - it was not enough food. The portions were tiny and all 4 of us universally left hungry.

What I will chalk up to the visions of the head chef is the overtly strange dishes on the tasting menu. eg - tourchon of foie gras, fried onions, grilled scallions and huckleberry. huh? No - it did not work. Similar issues with some of the other plates - although the beef tongue and john dory was pretty darn good. I can't get impressed enough with popcorn powder to forget that a dish just isn't thought through. So called moecular gastronomy is not the end - it is the means. At the end of the day - how does the food taste? Do the flavors really work together?

Before dessert - we were invited to the kitchen chef's table for our dessert course. Not sure why - I thought either they needed our table or someone overheard our quiet and respectful grumblings during the meal. Or could it have been that the plates were going back half eaten?

Anyway, we went back into the kitchen and that was a treat. It made an otherwise head scratching meal much more enjoyable. The kitchen table is a nice atmosphere and we saw that the a la carte offerings seemed more traditional and less contrived. If I returned it would be under 2 circumstances. 1 - I would absolutely order a la carte and 2 - someone whose palate I trust eats there and assures me it was good.

Again - service was very very good. The maitre d was friendly and everyone was nothing but accommodating and professional.

As we left - I did suggest something to the host since the chef (who was as nice as can be) did tell us in the kitchen that it is their preference for diners to order the tasting menu (it was 1/3 of orders for the saturday night). The size of the plates for the 5 course menu should be larger than the 8. 5 plates with an ounce of protein as the main ingredient in the dish means they are going to go through a lot of bread.

As always - your mileage may vary and it hopefully will. Let me know if you go.

Edited by shacke (log)

Dough can sense fear.

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dr shack- is it safe to assume the wine list is of high quality but very expensive?

we've got a gift certificate here that w eneed to use. maybe we should just book a room and eat elsewhere?

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dr shack- is it safe to assume the wine list is of high quality but very expensive?

we've got a gift certificate here that w eneed to use. maybe we should just book a room and eat elsewhere?

We also have a gift certificate to use and have reservations to go for brunch in March. The brunch has historically been amazing, so I am hoping someone has had a recent experience they would like to share. In the past the brunch was expensive but so extraordinary that it was worth it. I hope they haven't kept the prices but lowered the quality/variety. If the bruch is as it used to be, I would highly recommend it.

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We were disappointed in Lacroix overall.  Really - the service was terrific and friendly but the food we had was nowhere near where it should be for a place like Lacroix.

I think our mistake might have been ordering the tasting menu.  First off - and I have rarely found this to be an issue - it was not enough food.  The portions were tiny and all 4 of us universally left hungry. 

What I will chalk up to the visions of the head chef is the overtly strange dishes on the tasting menu.  eg - tourchon of foie gras, fried onions, grilled scallions and huckleberry.  huh?  No - it did not work.  Similar issues with some of the other plates - although the beef tongue and john dory was pretty darn good.  I can't get impressed enough with popcorn powder to forget that a dish just isn't thought through. So called moecular gastronomy is not the end - it is the means.  At the end of the day - how does the food taste?  Do the flavors really work together?

Before dessert - we were invited to the kitchen chef's table for our dessert course.  Not sure why - I thought either they needed our table or someone overheard our quiet and respectful grumblings during the meal.  Or could it have been that the plates were going back half eaten? 

Anyway, we went back into the kitchen and that was a treat.  It made an otherwise head scratching meal much more enjoyable.  The kitchen table is a nice atmosphere and we saw that the a la carte offerings seemed more traditional and less contrived.  If I returned it would be under 2 circumstances.  1 - I would absolutely order a la carte and 2 - someone whose palate I trust eats there and assures me it was good.

Again - service was very very good.  The maitre d was friendly and everyone was nothing but accommodating and professional. 

As we left - I did suggest something to the host since the chef (who was as nice as can be) did tell us in the kitchen that it is their preference for diners to order the tasting menu (it was 1/3 of orders for the saturday night).  The size of the plates for the 5 course menu should be larger than the 8.  5 plates with an ounce of protein as the main ingredient in the dish means they are going to go through a lot of bread.

As always - your mileage may vary and it hopefully will.  Let me know if you go.

This review doesn't bode well for those of us who have a gift certificate for Lacroix. If it was a mistake ordering the tasting menu then 1/3 of the diners made the same mistake.

wkl, I recently received an email from Lacroix announcing 50% off their wine list Sunday - Thursday, IIRC.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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I think our mistake might have been ordering the tasting menu.  First off - and I have rarely found this to be an issue - it was not enough food.  The portions were tiny and all 4 of us universally left hungry. 

<snip>

Before dessert - we were invited to the kitchen chef's table for our dessert course.  Not sure why - I thought either they needed our table or someone overheard our quiet and respectful grumblings during the meal.  Or could it have been that the plates were going back half eaten? 

Not to quibble, because if you didn't like the food, you didn't like the food. But I'm not sure you can complain about it not being enough food if you weren't finishing what was served....

Christopher

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Not to quibble, because if you didn't like the food, you didn't like the food. But I'm not sure you can complain about it not being enough food if you weren't finishing what was served....

That would be conventionally wise deduction however the fact that customers think the food was not good and thus had no inclinations to finish it is actually mutually exclusive of the question of if the portion size is sufficient in the first place.

Obviously since Evan Shacke has had multiple meals at Per Se and clearly not only understands the concept of a tasting menu but also has a visual barometer of portion size.

Putting a plate of food in front of him, concieveably he can look at the portion sizes based on number of courses and say it's too small but subsequently upon tasting eat conclude the dish does not work and is unappetizing enough to have no further interest.

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I think our mistake might have been ordering the tasting menu.  First off - and I have rarely found this to be an issue - it was not enough food.  The portions were tiny and all 4 of us universally left hungry.  

<snip>

Before dessert - we were invited to the kitchen chef's table for our dessert course.  Not sure why - I thought either they needed our table or someone overheard our quiet and respectful grumblings during the meal.  Or could it have been that the plates were going back half eaten? 

Not to quibble, because if you didn't like the food, you didn't like the food. But I'm not sure you can complain about it not being enough food if you weren't finishing what was served....

Christopher

Fair enough question but quibbling it is, Christopher. If someone eats only 1 oz of their 2 oz food volume - let's say - it doesn't take much of a leap to extrapolate to that conclusion if you are having a short menu (last course is dessert BTW). I personally consumed all the protein and left some of the less pleasing accompaniments. Others more - others less. I am no stranger to the tasting menu nor do I consider myself needing lofty amounts of food. I would say the same of the folks we were with. We meet quarterly in NYC or philly specifically to eat somewhere "special". We all felt the same way.

No one cancel their plans on my account. I would love to hear someone who had a grand old time. My suggestion remains to order a la carte .... for now.

Dough can sense fear.

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<snip>

Fair enough question but quibbling it is, Christopher. If someone eats only 1 oz of their 2 oz food volume - let's say - it doesn't take much of a leap to extrapolate to that conclusion if you are having a short menu (last course is dessert BTW). I personally consumed all the protein and left some of the less pleasing accompaniments. Others more - others less. I am no stranger to the tasting menu nor do I consider myself needing lofty amounts of food. I would say the same of the folks we were with. We meet quarterly in NYC or philly specifically to eat somewhere "special". We all felt the same way.

No one cancel their plans on my account. I would love to hear someone who had a grand old time. My suggestion remains to order a la carte .... for now.

As no plans were made there's nothing to cancel; however I'm going to delay dining at Lacroix until I'm fairly certain we'll have, if not a spectacular time, something close.

Given the state of the economy and knowing the money tree in the backyard hasn't a chance of blooming for quite some time, paying for any "special" dinners out may have to wait until 2010.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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