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jeunefilleparis

V Steakhouse

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This was a well-written review. At least he emphasized the food more than in his other reviews. The stars or lack thereof doesn't affect me. That's just his opinion. Another reviewer may give "V" no stars or four stars. It really doesn't matter what one person's opinion is (unless you're the restaurant owner).

What I find interesting is that Bruni has reviewed two steakhouses in his first six reviews. I guess the NY Times has decided to review steakhouses afterall. :wacko:


Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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But the "certain level" is three stars -- that's what the reasonable critic should be measuring V against, because V is a reflection of that genre. Of course V may fall short, and therefore not perform at that level, and therefore not deserve three stars.

Perhaps it doesn't perform at the two star level either. I don't know since I haven't been. I just don' think one should award stars based on expectations. That being said, it may be that this is a gross injustice.


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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I thought the review was entertaining, witty, and seemed to be objective. He told you what worked for him, and what didn't, and why. Seems that would be the overall objective of any review.

I agree with Docsconz, its up to Bruni to award stars as he deems them earned, not as what should be expected.

As these are professionals at "V", perhaps they should take a second look at some of the more 'intellectual' dishes as they sounded as if they bordered on the just plain silly.

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"Deconstruction" of various dishes is an interesting concept and has been entertaining, but I think the novelty and amusement factor that made those dishes surprising and fun has sort of worn off. If the deconstruction doesn't add something to a dish now, then why do it? Based on the review, V's deconstructions really do sound gimmicky rather than intellectual. I liked the way Bruni approached that aspect of the restaurant. That is not to say I might not feel completely different if I tried the dishes in question.

So far I like Bruni's candid style and the fact that he is not afraid to tackle some sacred cows.


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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Anyone else think JG is branching out a bit too broadly to maintain quality (e.g., '66?').

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Anyone else think JG is branching out a bit too broadly to maintain quality (e.g., '66?').

This has already engendered quality discussion. Check here.


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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Fwiw, I can't see a steakhouse -- ANY steakhouse getting a three star review.

The genre is inherently self-limiting in my opinion, but that's probably food for thought for another thread.

The only three-star steakhouse in New York is Peter Luger. I see no reason why other restaurants in that genre shouldn't be eligible for three stars, but perhaps it's significant that none besides Luger has reached that level to date. If two stars is the historical maximum for all but the most extraordinary steakhouses, and V's non-steak dishes have as much wrong with them as Bruni says, then one star seems to me the correct rating.

Clearly V was trying to break out of the mold by offering all of these funky deconstructed dishes. I've not tried them, but I would brand the experiment a failure in the sense that I can't recall a critic so far who has said, "Wow! Isn't that great! Instead of a French Onion Soup, I get the ingredients and assemble the food myself!" If this is a brilliant idea, diners so far seem not to be getting it.

I think it's just coincidence that two of the first six Bruni reviews were steakhouses. It just so happened there were two important new restaurants in the genre that hadn't been reviewed yet.

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I’m not sure what about this review justifies one star

Besides the deconstruction which should not be a decisive factor in how many stars a restaurant is rewarded there only three negatives(asparagus, potatoes, ketchup) about the food and one about the fake trees

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I agree that it's just coincidence, or rather that Bruni's choice was dictated by the market: most every reviewer has covered Wolfgang's recently and they'll all cover V soon enough.

However, Bruni has been by far the most negative critic to weigh in on V thus far. Steve Cuozzo in the Post ( http://www.nypost.com/food/23551.htm ) just didn't make a big deal out of the deconstructed dishes one way or the other, though he loved the deconstructed lemon meringue pie. In any event, he gave V three stars. Josh Ozersky in Newsday wrote what reads like a three-star or strong two-star review to me, though I don't believe Newsday awards stars ( http://www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-fdnotes38...0,6716793.story ). Joe Dziemianowicz in the Daily News didn't like the deconstructed dishes but went with 2.5 stars. Above, emsny's description of his meal sounds compelling to me and the his take on the deconstruction -- "The menu is full of imagination and, on the basis of one meal, even the things that sound over the top are cannily devised." -- is written with the voice of experience. It seems there is something of a consensus about what the stars mean but that Frank Bruni, who assigns the stars that count, isn't part of it.

I had a 9:15 reservation tonight but had to cancel because my friend wasn't feeling up to it. I'm looking forward to dining there.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The review, which I enjoyed and thought was fair, certainly demonstrates that the sycophant-type fawning over JG of Amanda Hessser is long gone. The review seemed fair to me.

I'm curious if anyone thinks Bruni was so harsh in order to gain credibility in the wake of Hesser? Or is that entirely circumstnatial?


The Amateur Gourmet

www.amateurgourmet.com

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I’m not sure what about this review justifies one star

Besides the deconstruction which should not be a decisive factor in how many stars a restaurant is rewarded

Why not, if it makes the dish worse than the sum of its parts, as Bruni seemed to think it did?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Me, I just can't stop thinking about the dear little bowl of melted gruyere. Gruyere right off the heat is molten. Five minutes after that it's cheese-flavored glue.

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I’m not sure what about this review justifies one star

Besides the deconstruction which should not be a decisive factor in how many stars a restaurant is rewarded

Why not, if it makes the dish worse than the sum of its parts, as Bruni seemed to think it did?

there's two, maybe three, deconstructed dishes on the menu.. the onion soup and the lemon tart.. that's it.. but everyone who goes and reviews this place harps on them.. why?? maybe because everything else is done amazingly competently but competency doesn't make for one star reviews..

the gruyere comes in a warm water bath that keeps it at a nice consistency..

i'm amazed at how everyone here seems to be jumping all over this place, and two specific dishes, without visiting it..

if luger's really does have three stars, there's no way this place deserves one by the same reviewing body.. luger's coasts by on the quality of their meat.. nothing else on the menu is done consistently well, nor does the decor or service merit anything near three stars..

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I’m not sure what about this review justifies one star

Besides the deconstruction which should not be a decisive factor in how many stars a restaurant is rewarded

Why not, if it makes the dish worse than the sum of its parts, as Bruni seemed to think it did?

there's two, maybe three, deconstructed dishes on the menu.. the onion soup and the lemon tart.. that's it.. but everyone who goes and reviews this place harps on them.. why?? maybe because everything else is done amazingly competently but competency doesn't make for one star reviews..

the gruyere comes in a warm water bath that keeps it at a nice consistency..

i'm amazed at how everyone here seems to be jumping all over this place, and two specific dishes, without visiting it..

if luger's really does have three stars, there's no way this place deserves one by the same reviewing body.. luger's coasts by on the quality of their meat.. nothing else on the menu is done consistently well, nor does the decor or service merit anything near three stars..

I agree with you on Luger's. The meat is great, but if you look at the full experience - is it really possible for one dish alone to pull a restaurant up from what would probably be at most one, but more likely zero stars all the way up to three?

And it strikes me from the descriptions (admittedly not having been there) that V is less a steakhouse than a fine dining restaurant that happens to feature steaks on its menu. If that is the case, is it really a good comparison to lump it in with Luger's (or Wolfgang's or Smith and Wollensky or Ruth's Chris)?


Bill Russell

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if luger's really does have three stars, there's no way this place deserves one by the same reviewing body.. luger's coasts by on the quality of their meat.. nothing else on the menu is done consistently well, nor does the decor or service merit anything near three stars.

If the argument is that even Luger's doesn't deserve three stars, then it goes further to reinforce the proposition that two is the practical maximum for a Steakhouse. The three-star rating for Luger's dates from the Ruth Reichl era, but we know from Bruni's controversial review of Wolfgang's that he found the Luger steaks slightly superior to Wolfgang's, and he gave Wolfgang's two stars.

That said, it's a slippery slope to say, "Restaurant X got three stars; this restaurant is better than X; hence, this restaurant cannot be lower than three." The Times gives out fifty-two ratings a year, and the existing ratings are the work of numerous critics over many years. You can always find anomalies. The reviewer must, of course, be generally aware of what a star has historically meant, but that doesn't mean that the three-star category is defined by the most ill-advised three-star rating the paper has ever given out. One of the purposes of re-reviews is to correct such errors, but only a fraction of the year's fifty-two reviews can be used for that purpose, because there are a lot of new restaurants that need to be rated.

And it strikes me from the descriptions (admittedly not having been there) that V is less a steakhouse than a fine dining restaurant that happens to feature steaks on its menu. If that is the case, is it really a good comparison to lump it in with Luger's (or Wolfgang's or Smith and Wollensky or Ruth's Chris)?

As Fat Guy observed, the people who opened this restaurant aren't dummies. If the name is "V Steakhouse," there's a strong prima facie case that it's a steakhouse.


Edited by oakapple (log)

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Except for the owner, does anyone really care how many stars a specific restaurant gets? What does it matter? It's one person's opinion. Go, enjoy the food. Be happy!


Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Except for the owner, does anyone really care how many stars a specific restaurant gets? What does it matter? It's one person's opinion. Go, enjoy the food. Be happy!

The reason owners care, is that there are diners who care.

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Except for the owner, does anyone really care how many stars a specific restaurant gets? What does it matter? It's one person's opinion. Go, enjoy the food. Be happy!

The reason owners care, is that there are diners who care.

Which is the perfect reason to get rid of the damn star system - as I have been advocating for the past 20 years or so. It's unreliable, it's totally subjective and it's compiled by different reviewers for the same publication.

THE TIME HAS COME - Your fate should no longer be controlled by the stars.


Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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i'm amazed at how everyone here seems to be jumping all over this place, and two specific dishes, without visiting it..

I'm not doing that! I'm just discussing the review per se. I have no idea how I'd react to V Steakhouse's cuisine.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I hardly think Vongerichten takes himself as seriously as Frank Bruni does -- I have a feeling the deconstruction here is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Call it intellectual food humor. Nothing a reviewer should be getting all punitive over.

FatGuy, I think, is right here: the dishes are not intended to be thought-provoking so much as fun, a word the Bruni review did not contain. Wait; let me check on that . . . Nope, the word didn't appear, unlike "ellipticity," which my in-depth research ("define:ellipticity" on Google) suggests doesn't mean what I imagine Bruni meant it to mean: that Vongerichten is famous enough that elliptical references to his name are sufficient to identify him. Spell-checkers go only sew far. Although perhaps it was intended as a highly intellectual joke.

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Except for the owner, does anyone really care how many stars a specific restaurant gets? What does it matter? It's one person's opinion. Go, enjoy the food. Be happy!

The reason owners care, is that there are diners who care.

Which is the perfect reason to get rid of the damn star system - as I have been advocating for the past 20 years or so. It's unreliable, it's totally subjective and it's compiled by different reviewers for the same publication.

THE TIME HAS COME - Your fate should no longer be controlled by the stars.

We've debated the star system to death in recent weeks, and I'll now ask that we no longer have discussion as to the utility or legitimacy of the NY Times star system in restaurant discussion threads. The star system is here to stay, and any discussion involving the star system in restaurant threads should address only whether the restaurant received the correct star rating -- not what one may think about the star system in general. There is already a thread in FM&N where we can discuss the star system as a system as much as we like.


--

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Stanley Bing's monthly column in Fortune magazine

From his very funny column:

"Let's call the place ABC, for that is very nearly its name. It was about six on an evening not long ago, and I was hanging around with my friend Dworkin thinking about dinner. We do that quite a bit, Dworkin and I, when we're not thinking about drinks.

"There's this new steak joint that nobody can get into," says Dworkin.

"Try," says I, and I can feel the prickle of hair rising on the back of my neck.

So Dworkin picks up the phone. "Hello. Yes, I'd like a reservation for two for dinner. Uh-huh. Nine o'clock. Mm-hm." He hangs up."

Though he never gets specific about the restaurant where he tries for his res, it's clear to me that it's V.

Agree?

:wink:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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