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Who do you think are the 4 stars in NY


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we all know who are the 4 star restaurants in nyc right now. But id like to know who the people of egullet feel are 4 stars. Taking all the usually into account and i guess you would have to have eaten there at least twice but i guess once will do. So what do you all think?

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I think the current list of four-star restaurants is a good one. I wish some of the restaurants holding four stars -- especially Bouley and Daniel, which I'd say would be the most vulnerable to losing a star on re-review if it happened today -- would strive for more consistency and learn to view their stars as a responsibility and a matter of public trust, but I think the best restaurants in New York are currently holding four-star ratings. Obviously Per Se needs to be added to the four-star club, with the open question being whether it gets four stars now or whether it gets three stars up front and four stars upon re-review in a year.

With a very few exceptions that have mostly to do with timing or agendas (Chanterelle held onto four stars too long; it took too long to award four stars to ADNY), the four-star category has never been all that problematic -- it's a fairly straightforward matter to determine who's at the top. The only major screwup I remember in the past several years was the failure to give Cello four stars. The real problems, though, are in the 1, 2 & 3 star categories, which are currently a disastrous mishmash.

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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Through recent experience:

Per Se

Daniel

Through past experience:

The Four Seasons

Le Bernardins

4* rated, but not to me:

Bouley

Jean-Georges

No experience:

ADNY

Masa

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'm going to play this game even though I abhor the star system. I also give less credit for ambience and more for the quality and consistency of the food.

With that said and in alphabetical order: ADNY, Aquavit, Chanterelle, Nobu, Per Se and the Tasting Room.

Here are some others serving four-star food, but without sufficient consistency or ambience: Blue Hill, Gramercy Tavern, Grocery, Henry's End, Sparks and Union Square Cafe.

And a few others to watch: Bayard, Landmarc and L'Impero.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

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

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With that said and in alphabetical order: ADNY, Aquavit, Chanterelle, Per Se, Nobu and the Tasting Room.

Here are some others serving four-star food, but without sufficient consistency or ambience: Gramercy Tavern, Grocery, Henry's End, Sparks and Union Square Cafe.

And a

does the Tasting Room, then, have the "ambience"? i can't imagine awarding 4 star to a restaurant where i have to get up from my table to let other people sit or go to the restroom. :laugh:

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With that said and in alphabetical order: ADNY, Aquavit, Chanterelle, Per Se, Nobu and the Tasting Room.

Here are some others serving four-star food, but without sufficient consistency or ambience: Gramercy Tavern, Grocery, Henry's End, Sparks and Union Square Cafe.

And a

does the Tasting Room, then, have the "ambience"? i can't imagine awarding 4 star to a restaurant where i have to get up from my table to let other people sit or go to the restroom. :laugh:

That was my most difficult choice. But the food is so good (and consistent) that I would give it four stars if the restaurant was located in the Canal Street Subway Station during rush hour. :laugh:

Rich Schulhoff

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

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That was my most difficult choice. But the food is so good (and consistent) that I would give it four stars if the restaurant was located in the Canal Street Subway Station during rush hour. :laugh:

and now that the team has left? (from what i understand)

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That was my most difficult choice. But the food is so good (and consistent) that I would give it four stars if the restaurant was located in the Canal Street Subway Station during rush hour. :laugh:

and now that the team has left? (from what i understand)

I didn't know that - I haven't been there since the end of October. Any info as to where they went?

Rich Schulhoff

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

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I didn't know that - I haven't been there since the end of October. Any info as to where they went?

i read it here somewhere.

more to the point, though, if you're going to qualify some of your choices with "4 star food but lacking ambience", i'd certainly put the Tasting Room into that category, unless you think the ambience at the Tasting Room is worthy of 4 stars. i think we both agree that the food as always been outstanding, and the service excellent, though.

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i have heard l'impero mentioned a few times in passing recently but know nothing about it.  can i get a little info? thanks

L'Impero is at 45 Tudor City Place (basically between 41st and 43rd between 2nd ave and 1st ave.) The chef is Scott Conant, formerly of San Domenica. The cuisine is Italian/New American. It is probably one of my current 2-3 favorite restaurants, but I understand why it will not be 4 stars in its current design (for reasons other than the food).

That being said, I would rather dine more frequently at L'Impero than in Bouley or Le Bernardin (the two 4 stars I have eaten in).

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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There probably aren't very many of us who have eaten at all of the plausible candidates at least twice. I have not.

Based on a consensus of recent critical opinion, Bouley seems the most vulnerable to losing a star if it gets re-reviewed.

It is at least arguable that Chanterelle is four stars, given its Beard award as the best restaurant in America.

When Grimes reviewed Atelier, he implied it was thisclose to being four stars. With Kreuther now leaving for the Modern, all bets are off as to whether this level can be maintained or improved. There are probably other places that just barely missed four stars; one could look at recent three-star reviews and find similar examples.

You have to presume that the Times will maintain past standards. Whether you like the standards or not, it is pretty clear what they are. Based on that, there is zero chance that places like Landmarc, Sparks, Henry's End, or Grocery will ever be four stars, unless they close down and re-open with a very different concept.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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To me the most disappointing restaurant mentioned on this thread is Nobu. I thought the decor unremarkable, the service so-so and the food ($100 omikase) only mediocre. I had high hopes for it, but do not feel any urge to return. 4*'s? Not in my book. Not even close.

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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Here are some others serving four-star food, but without sufficient consistency or ambience: Gramercy Tavern, Grocery, Henry's End, Sparks and Union Square Cafe.

Henry's End as in the place on Henry Street in North Brooklyn Heights? I have never been there but the people I know who have say that it is good, but nothing close to 4 stars - based on the reactions I seen, I'd say Satisfactory-1 star.

Please provide more info if possible.

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The "Team" has left The Tasting Room?!! Since when? I was just there a month ago and Rene and Colin were still there, so what "Team" can you be talking about???

BeeT's

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From my experience:

4-Star:

Per Se

JG (but only at lunch it seems)

Le Bernardin

Babbo

3-Star:

Bouley

Daniel

2-Star:

Masa

Is this from firsthand experience, sashimi, or from reading other people's reports? I ask because of your reference to JG being worth 4 stars only at lunch "it seems".

clb

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I thought the "from my experience" qualifier at the start of my post spoke for itself. But to be clear, I'll say it again: from my experience.

I say "it seems" because it seems as though I can only garner a 4-star experience from JG in the form of an afternoon meal. I'm sure it has something to do with how gorgeous and fantasy-like the room is with that afternoon light. Ambience is an important part of a 4-star meal. I also genuinely find the kitchen to be more competent during the afternoon seating. I wish I knew why.

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All I have to say is that with the exception of Steven (fat guy)

Thank god none of you are professional reviewers

I thank her everyday, but spell it with an upper case "G." :laugh:

Rich Schulhoff

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

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All I have to say is that with the exception of Steven (fat guy)

Thank god none of you are professional reviewers

Fine and good, but a substantive response would be more instructive. Please tell us your opinion and why you disagree with the opinions expressed here (or the nature of their expression or whatever).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Danube without a doubt,,,,, I did like my meal at Jean Georges a lot, but it wasnt amazing. I think that Blue Hill is up there too,,,,,,, never been to ADNY or Daniel,,,

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

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Danube without a doubt,,,,, I did like my meal at Jean Georges a lot, but it wasnt amazing. I think that Blue Hill is up there too,,,,,,, never been to ADNY or Daniel,,,

Never been to Danube, but plan on going within the next month. :wink: You're absolutely correct about Blue Hill - I mistakenly left it out of the second category I listed. The gray matter is beginning to fail. :sad:

PS - I have corrected my Post.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

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

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