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The Tasting Room


Beachfan
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Eater reports that the Tasting Room has closed. I suppose the fact that this thread was last updated in Dec 2006 tells us something. While I can't claim to have had any astounding meals here (I think there were 3 in the new location for me), the intention of the restaurant always impressed me, and I think it's a sad piece of news.
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That's too bad. I never got there, but it seems that enthusiasm for the place really waned after it moved into its new digs. It seems that a change of venue is often not good for a business that is seemingly doing well, even though at first blush it would appear that a move makes sense. Sometimes intangibles are lost in the process.

I wonder how much competition from the likes of David Chang and others hurt it?

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I have never had anything besides wonderful meals there.. They are such a sweet couple.. They still have the original spot.. I hope they change it back to a restaurant.. That was me and the ladies special bday spot.

Also, anyone who didnt have that fried duck leg for brunch, missed out on something special.

Edited by Daniel (log)
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That's too bad. I never got there, but it seems that enthusiasm for the place really waned after it moved into its new digs. It seems that a change of venue is often not good for a business that is seemingly doing well, even though at first blush it would appear that a move makes sense. Sometimes intangibles are lost in the process.

I wonder how much competition from the likes of David Chang and others hurt it?

nada. nothing like a Momofuku.

TR was essentially a cross between Savoy, Blue Hill and a vegetarian restaurant; along with an interesting wine list.

the problem was the kitchen had no clue how to use proteins and the constantly changing menu was more ambitious than they could handle. and the prices were those of a superior restaurant.

great ingredients, but they needed a chef. (the veggies and seafood were often good)

edit: as for the neighborhood, it was a relative newcomer (Public and Cafe Leibowitz cum Bar Marche had already raised the bar somewhat on Elizabeth Street) and there's still plenty of room for more good restaurants in NoLIta...Savoy is also in the hood but I doubt that older mainstay killed TR.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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That's too bad. I never got there, but it seems that enthusiasm for the place really waned after it moved into its new digs. It seems that a change of venue is often not good for a business that is seemingly doing well, even though at first blush it would appear that a move makes sense. Sometimes intangibles are lost in the process.

On the face of it, this is a move that should have worked. The distance of the move was about four blocks. For this type of restaurant, that's not the type of move that will lose customers, unless there's a significant travel or cultural barrier to cross—and in this case, there wasn't.

I never visited the old TR, but from the various reviews I've read, my sense is that Alevras wasn't able to scale his operation to a restaurant three times the size.

I wonder how much competition from the likes of David Chang and others hurt it?

The concepts are different enough that it shouldn't have mattered if Alevras had been able to keep up the quality.

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the problem was the kitchen had no clue how to use proteins and the constantly changing menu was more ambitious than they could handle.
Though one person thinks the kitchen "had no clue how to use proteins," it was the same staff that was praised for those very attributes in the original location.
and the prices were those of a superior restaurant.
On my most recent visit, entrée prices were in the twenties, with none in the thirties. These days, that's basically mid-priced.
great ingredients, but they needed a chef.  (the veggies and seafood were often good)
I don't really know what that means, since TR was a chef-driven restaurant to begin with. It had no corporate identity other than the identity that the chef, Colin Alevras, gave it. Seafood, by the way, is a protein.
edit:  as for the neighborhood, it was a relative newcomer (Public and Cafe Leibowitz cum Bar Marche had already raised the bar somewhat on Elizabeth Street)

No disagreement there, but I'd note that this was really just steps away from the NoLIta/EV border. In terms of walking distance, TR didn't move all that far away from its original location.
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and the prices were those of a superior restaurant.
On my most recent visit, entrée prices were in the twenties, with none in the thirties. These days, that's basically mid-priced.

Not sure when you went, but at some point they changed the format to a small plate option, and I'm sure the prices changed to reflect that. When they opened, entrees were in the $30 range.

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right. I went twice shortly after it opened. I stand by my assessment of the restaurant as it was then. it wasn't like I heard enough great things after that to cause me to give it another chance.

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right.  I went twice shortly after it opened.  I stand by my assessment of the restaurant as it was then.  it wasn't like I heard enough great things after that to cause me to give it another chance.

Yes, but the statements "the kitchen had no clue how to use proteins" and "seafood [was] often good" are simply inconsistent with one another.

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right.  I went twice shortly after it opened.  I stand by my assessment of the restaurant as it was then.  it wasn't like I heard enough great things after that to cause me to give it another chance.

Yes, but the statements "the kitchen had no clue how to use proteins" and "seafood [was] often good" are simply inconsistent with one another.

here's what I noticed. they couldn't cook meat. raw seafood dishes (usually with citrus) were good.

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