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Saveur: 12 Restaurants That Matter


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3. What I didn't disclose in my initial post (and what I didn't discover until reading some of the restaurant profiles) is that there is an emphasis on terroir and locavorism.  That automatically narrows the field.  Most of these twelve restaurants fit the bill.

How does Robuchon fit this bill, especially in Las Vegas?

You're absolutely right. It doesn't.

Bolded Red for emphasis. :wink:

I did see that U.E., but I wanted to be specific and am trying to find rhyme or reason for this list. If terroir or locavorism were the unifying factor then The French Laundry might have replaced Robuchon, since much of their produce is quite local indeed. I'm not saying that Robuchon isn't a great restaurant or doesn't belong on a list like this, just that that restaurant sa wonderful as it is specifically does not fit that particular profile.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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3. What I didn't disclose in my initial post (and what I didn't discover until reading some of the restaurant profiles) is that there is an emphasis on terroir and locavorism.  That automatically narrows the field.  Most of these twelve restaurants fit the bill.

How does Robuchon fit this bill, especially in Las Vegas?

You're absolutely right. It doesn't.

Bolded Red for emphasis. :wink:

I did see that U.E., but I wanted to be specific and am trying to find rhyme or reason for this list. If terroir or locavorism were the unifying factor then The French Laundry might have replaced Robuchon, since much of their produce is quite local indeed. I'm not saying that Robuchon isn't a great restaurant or doesn't belong on a list like this, just that that restaurant sa wonderful as it is specifically does not fit that particular profile.

Yes, but as with Chez Panisse, which I mentioned above, as an editor, I'd want to avoid contributing one more syllable to the culinary stutter. There's only so many times a reader (like me) can see an article about certain restaurants before we start rolling our eyes and sending them to the round file.

I had a fantastic meal at Chez Panisse, less so at The French Laundry. And, I too agree that both are VERY important restaurants in the U.S. - as are alinea and half a dozen other restaurants (I'd argue minibar sets a standard that very few, if any other restaurants in the U.S. can/have met). But Waters and Keller are more than usual suspects now. Their presence seems mandatory. And, indeed, you have not much further to look than page 48 of this very issue of Saveur. There's an article entitled "Alice and Thomas." I'll let you guess their last names.

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

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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This is a unfortunate list -- just as their top 100 was an unfortunate list. The two combined have quite honestly made me never want to pick up another issue of Saveur again. It just shows complete cluelessness regarding the actual focus of the entire publication (in general; food).

Just leaves me cold. I get the same type of feeling watching Rachel Ray try to extoll the virtues of fine food.

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I don't think any of the others are so intrinsically linked and long lived in the community as they are.

Right, but how does one write about Chez Panisse in this manner without sounding redundant?

I suspect these are JUST twelve restaurants that matter, NOT the ONLY twelve, or even the TOP twelve, or the BEST twelve, or... you get my point.

I agree with you on the "just" part, but can't help wondering "why" write the list article without a defined point of view? I really can't come up with a common denominator to make this list appropriate in my mind. I'm probably in higher agreement with the signature dishes than restaurants that matter.

Common denominators:

1. In composite, this list of restaurants covers the four corners of this great country.

2. In composite, this list of restaurants covers a relatively diverse set of cuisines. Name me the most "important" Asian restaurants in the U.S. I bet The Slanted Door might just be at the top of most people's list. Likewise, Topolobompo for Latin - especially Mexican - cuisine.

3. What I didn't disclose in my initial post (and what I didn't discover until reading some of the restaurant profiles) is that there is an emphasis on terroir and locavorism. That automatically narrows the field. Most of these twelve restaurants fit the bill.

There may be other thematic under currents here, but I'll have to think about it a little before I venture any other observations.

Maybe it's a time frame thing for me

Just taking the top two

1. Joel Robuchon (Las Vegas) - ?? French Laundry Now or Le Bec Fin then

2. Sportello (Boston) - ?? Salumi Seattle now or Oliveto or Po then

and going down the list as far as importance. Even Slanted Door as good as it was back then wasn't like an Arun's or Grand Sichuan - merely very good food and a great wine list.

But places like Watershed? It's just a simpler version of The Highlands in my opinion. Nothing against any of the places listed but it seems to hard to connect all these dots. Canlis? I'd say Craft would be a better representation. Anyhoo - just my .02.

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I agree I'm suprised as well that yhey didn't mentioned Alinea. As well as the French laundry.

I think "comfort us" gives us a clue here, though Alinea made me feel comforted as well as challenged.

My magazine always comes late - just received it yesterday. I couldn't really respond to Maggie beyond personal experience, but then as I read through last night, much earlier in the magazine the author refers to Alinea as comfy and welcoming...or some such words. Different author than the list, but the contradiction wasn't lost on me.

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I don't know if i have recieved that issue yet because I hardly pay attention to the magazine anymore.

The article is just a cost saving measure to fill space which requires no research and expenditure of funds other than some hack writing an article.

Savuer once was a very good publication but it has changed hands a number of times since the original crew and now its not worth reading.-Dick

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to admit, the list made more sense in the context of the magazine, especially given that they were selected by the individual writers, to whom the specific restaurants do "matter" for whatever reasons. The Slanted Door wouldn't be on a list for me, but I respect that it can be on the lists of others.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 1 month later...
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