Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

venue


EDS33
 Share

Recommended Posts

They felt the flavor combinations at wd-50 were better composed. The restaurants have similar ideologies but they also seemed to suggest that wd-50 also offers Sam Mason's ridiculous desserts which are an integral part of the wd-50 experience. Venue bordered on "trying too hard", a line I think they probably consciously toe.

Again, I can't offer more concrete words because I haven't eaten there myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They felt the flavor combinations at wd-50 were better composed.  The restaurants have similar ideologies but they also seemed to suggest that wd-50 also offers Sam Mason's ridiculous desserts which are an integral part of the wd-50 experience.  Venue bordered on "trying too hard", a line I think they probably consciously toe.

Again, I can't offer more concrete words because I haven't eaten there myself.

I do agree and feel that Sam Mason is probably the best pastry chef in all of New York City. But take him out of the equasion and just talking food In my opinion I felt that Venue's food just tasted better. Dont get me wrong, WD is great but I think that Venue will always be labled as "trying too hard" because they are in NJ. If Venue was in Manhatten as well it would be a totally different story. Thats why I feel that its a shame they are not in manhattan. They are always going to have to deal with the " it cant be as good as WD-50, or Alinea its in NJ." In regards to the menu, I thought Wd uses too many of the same ingredients and or concepts repeatedly. Such as pickled items and smoked items. I think a great menu should have very few similarities within it. I guess Venue just appealed to my pallette more. The bottom line is they are both great restaurants and which one is better can be debated on and on and on. It depends on the pallette. I do feel that they are both extremely creative and I am in love with the avant garde cuisine factor.

Edited by dRock (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

dRock I was curious why you found Venue better than WD-50. I was interested in your dislike for the tongue at WD-50 and the lack of offal on the Venue menu with that stated would you say venue is the "safer" less offal etc. rest.

I just feel that if you are going to offer offals they better be done correctly. In the case of WD-50 I felt the preparation fell short. Now if you want to talk about offals, Batali is king of making offals such as tongue taste amazing. I think that if it wont taste great, dont serve it. Thats all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They felt the flavor combinations at wd-50 were better composed.  The restaurants have similar ideologies but they also seemed to suggest that wd-50 also offers Sam Mason's ridiculous desserts which are an integral part of the wd-50 experience.  Venue bordered on "trying too hard", a line I think they probably consciously toe.

Again, I can't offer more concrete words because I haven't eaten there myself.

I do agree and feel that Sam Mason is probably the best pastry chef in all of New York City. But take him out of the equasion and just talking food In my opinion I felt that Venue's food just tasted better. Dont get me wrong, WD is great but I think that Venue will always be labled as "trying too hard" because they are in NJ. If Venue was in Manhatten as well it would be a totally different story. Thats why I feel that its a shame they are not in manhattan. They are always going to have to deal with the " it cant be as good as WD-50, or Alinea its in NJ." In regards to the menu, I thought Wd uses too many of the same ingredients and or concepts repeatedly. Such as pickled items and smoked items. I think a great menu should have very few similarities within it. I guess Venue just appealed to my pallette more. The bottom line is they are both great restaurants and which one is better can be debated on and on and on. It depends on the pallette. I do feel that they are both extremely creative and I am in love with the avant garde cuisine factor.

good news for BryanZ and dRock. Venue, Wd-50 and Moto in Chicago are going to be featured on an upcoming food network show titled "eat this" with Dave Leiberman. I will fill you in with more info when I get more details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are they doing a food network shos on venue in Hoboken, NJ?

They felt the flavor combinations at wd-50 were better composed.  The restaurants have similar ideologies but they also seemed to suggest that wd-50 also offers Sam Mason's ridiculous desserts which are an integral part of the wd-50 experience.  Venue bordered on "trying too hard", a line I think they probably consciously toe.

Again, I can't offer more concrete words because I haven't eaten there myself.

I do agree and feel that Sam Mason is probably the best pastry chef in all of New York City. But take him out of the equasion and just talking food In my opinion I felt that Venue's food just tasted better. Dont get me wrong, WD is great but I think that Venue will always be labled as "trying too hard" because they are in NJ. If Venue was in Manhatten as well it would be a totally different story. Thats why I feel that its a shame they are not in manhattan. They are always going to have to deal with the " it cant be as good as WD-50, or Alinea its in NJ." In regards to the menu, I thought Wd uses too many of the same ingredients and or concepts repeatedly. Such as pickled items and smoked items. I think a great menu should have very few similarities within it. I guess Venue just appealed to my pallette more. The bottom line is they are both great restaurants and which one is better can be debated on and on and on. It depends on the pallette. I do feel that they are both extremely creative and I am in love with the avant garde cuisine factor.

good news for BryanZ and dRock. Venue, Wd-50 and Moto in Chicago are going to be featured on an upcoming food network show titled "eat this" with Dave Leiberman. I will fill you in with more info when I get more details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. The show has already been taped and it will feature Venue in Hoboken NJ, WD-50 in Manhattan and Moto in Chicago. It will be the first food network series that will be on TV and on line. You will be able to watch each episode on food networks web site. I hear sometime in November but not 100% sure.

Edited by jasper (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going back to venue on wednesday for dinner. I am going to bring a camera and I will try to take good pics to post. The presentations of the food are exquisite. I am interested to find out more info on this show featuring WD and Venue. But I cant stand that guy Dave Leiberman. He seems so fake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand why you find it neccessary to call NJ a "culinary wasteland". Is this your attempt to be hip by mocking NJ. I guess jokes about the turnpike or Bada Bing might be somewhat funny, but I guess you think it's ok to add food to the list. I have been selling produce and specialty foods throughout the state to Hotels and Restaurants for two years. I can assure you there is plenty of excellent food being prepared in this state. Many chefs train in New York and then come to NJ. I hope you will be more open minded in the future. If you read this forum daily, you will find most people will agree with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand why you find it neccessary to call NJ a "culinary wasteland".  Is this your attempt to be hip by mocking NJ.  I guess jokes about the turnpike or Bada Bing might be somewhat funny, but I guess you think it's ok to add food to the list.  I have been selling produce and specialty foods throughout the state to Hotels and Restaurants for two years.  I can assure you there is plenty of excellent food being prepared in this state.  Many chefs train in New York and then come to NJ.  I hope you will be more open minded in the future.  If you read this forum daily, you will find most people will agree with me.

I second that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tommy I was just thinking about what you wrote when I was reading the NYT this moring and Dave Drake got ****.  The 1st thing I looked to see was there a wine list.  Does BYOBs deserve ****.  I dont know?  What does everone think. 

The restaurants reviewed in the NJ section of the NYT are not awarded stars. I think the levels go something like Satisfactory, Good, Very Good, Excellent, Outstanding. David Drake's received a rating of "Excellent." If Good = one star, then Excellent = three.

As for whether a restaurant that is BYO should receive a 4-star rating -- absolutely. While a restaurant's wine list is an important element in fine dining, BYO is ubiquitous in NJ because of the dearth of liquor licenses and the often ultra-exhorbitant costs. (Two licenses in Freehold recently went for over a million dollars each!) For me, first and foremost, it's the quality of the cuisine. If that's stellar and is matched with professional service and pleasing ambiance, then the restaurant should receive the highest ratings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Inspired by the postings here, my partner in crime booked a 7:30 res for this Saturday night at Venue. Looking forward to experiencing what looks like a memorable evening. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Get the Soup, Scallops, and Short Ribs. If you want to try funky dishes, get the pine scented salmon or paella, or Venison

Edited by dRock (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Read so many of these wonderful reviews and headed to Venue last night. The dining room reminds me of Morimoto in Philadephia, albeit without the size, subleties and attention to detail of Morimoto's. We were seated in the back area, which contains 8 or so tables. Nice room, but the "color changes" happen just a little too fast and abrubtly (as in, rather than color, color, color I think that a nice, slow fade between colors would be more conducive to a slow, sensuous dinner.)

Initially, the dining room was chilly and there were only 2-3 other tables filled at 7:30 on a Saturday night. As the evening progressed, the dining room filled to capacity.

Forgetting our wine as this is supposedly a BYO, we asked the waiter to point us in the direction of the nearest liquor store. We were told that they do, indeed, have a wine list containing only NJ wines. We thought, "Sure, why not" and took a look at the list. Every wine on the list had the Hope Valley label and not one of them was NJ (CA, PA & NY were listed). We decided to pass and mentioned to the waiter that that there were none that jumped out at us. He recommended a Cabernet that was NOT on the wine list. Given the popularity of Cabernets, I was suprised that it wasn't on the list and only mentioned when I asked for a recommendation. Odd.

We looked over the menu and decided on the 5-course tasting. Reading here about 'putting ones self into the chef's hands', our initial idea was to do just that. Before relinquishing control, I asked our waiter if the chef a. would come up with his own ideas, possibly off the menu or b. if he just chose from the established menu, rather than us. I was told the latter -- that the chef merely chooses off the menu for the diner. To me, that seemed rather boring -- I mean, if one was to truly be at the mercy of the chef, I would think that it would allow the chef to push the envelope a bit and the diner to experience a sense of anticipation/anxiety in regards to what was going to come out of the kitchen next. Damn, if Chef was only going to play eenie-meeny-miney-mo on the menu sitting in front of me or even worse, choose items off the menu based on what was moving out of the kitchen that evening vs. what was sitting around, at least I could choose from the same list according to what I thought would appeal or challenge me, based on my own likes and dislikes.

Our amuse bouche was a small piece of lamb covered in something crunchy with some sort of sauce. I write this tongue-in-cheek, because the two young women who were in charge of serving the food were asked twice to repeat what the dish description was and both times it was mumbled to the point that the only word coherent was lamb. Let me take a moment and say that these two women worked very hard serving dishes to what seemed like every table. They would walk into the dining room over to a table, dishes in hand, look at each other and coordinate so that both plates would hit the table at the same time. They put a lot of effort into this process. Unfortunately, the mumbling and the feeling that they were quickly repeating what they had been told about the dish without understanding what the ingredients were or anything else had me thinking these two were "reverse busboys" of sorts. Rather than taking away dirty dishes, they brought dishes to the table. I've had the same experience at a diner when I ask a busboy for something other than water and it completely throws them for a loop. At one point, we had a question about a side on one of the plates and a staff member was directed to the table. When I pointed to the mashed something on my plate, I was told "oh, its some sort of mashed vegetable", which was obvious. She couldn't think of the name and said she thought it was "R-something." "Rutabaga?" I asked. "Ummmm, yeah, I think that's it," she replied. Not exactly the type of response I had expected at Venue.

One word about the bread. POPOVERS. That's the word. These were gigantic, warm, custardy popovers (served with a pomegranite butter) that should come with a warning label. Yes, its my own fault. I take the blame. I ate TOO MANY popovers. They were just so tasty and so readily available. Don't say I didn't warn you.

After the amuse, our first course came out and I went with the nasturtium and rose petal tempura with almond milk foam and he had the squash soup with madras curry cotton candy. Tempura'd rose petals are ok. They're tempura'd (sp?). The taste of the nasturtium and rose was virtually non-existent because they're tempura'd. His soup was great, but I've had a number of squash soups over the past few weeks at various establishments and it was just what a squash soup was supposed to taste like at this time of year. Fall. The little wand of curry cotton candy was brought to the table and stirred into the soup by the server until it dissolved. My tablemate would have liked if HE had been able to stir, taste, play with the little wand on his own rather than seeing it for a moment and watching it dissolve away before being able to really experience this little novelty.

Speaking of novelty, my rose petals were served in the "votive holder/tube" that was mentioned in other reviews here. My second course, crispy rock shrimp. sweet and spicy sambal aioli, toasted sesame and frizzled leaves of wasabi root was served in it as well. Novelty is one thing, but can't this place come up with a VARIETY of novel ways to serve its food? The four main pieces of plateware were this votive holder, a BIG square bowl, a small round bowl with a cutaway front that made it difficult to rest your spoon on it without the spoon sliding forward a square plate and a squat oval bown with a lip that curved inward, making it difficult to get anything that ends up under that curve. At one point, my dinner companion resorted to taking a piece of popover to scoop out 1/2 the dish that ended up under the curve. If a restaurant is going for UNIQUE dishes/experiences, than they should be just that. To have the votive thing used for more than one dish, to have cotton candy appearing more than once on the table (the second mention will follow) just seems to take away from the uniqueness of it all. Better yet, forget the kitchy novelty entirely and just focus on the food. I think that this is where WD-50 beats Venue hands-down. Dufraine has a seriousness that coexists with his preparations and presentations that never lets you forget that when all is said and done, its about the food, the ingredients and what's going on inside your mouth.

BTW, the "crispy rock shrimp" I mentioned was put on the table and I was told by the server girl "Shrimp Tempura." Ok, another tempura course. Actually, it was tasty but once again, why tempura? Seems like when something works at this place, they run with it. His dish of australian prawns and manilla clams with flavors of paella was flavorful and the pipettes of broth were a nice touch.

Our fish course was our favorite course. I had the seared sable fish. cinnamon- walnut bed, rutabaga puree, milk skin and madagascan vanilla scented veal jus and here the flavors really did come together and make for a great dish. I was also relieved that tempura was nowhere in sight. <grin> His arctic char with red chard braise, pears, jus, and green tea foam was also excellent.

The intermezzo of rose-scented 'air' was novel and we enjoyed the fluffiness of it. We were a little mystified by the hard lump of rose ice in the bottom of the flute. Did we eat it? Scrape it? Was it supposed to be there? Was it there to keep the 'air' cold? We scraped at it a bit ourselves and made more 'air' and then chopped it up and ate it like a sorbet. Rose at this point in the meal was refreshing.

Next course was meat. I had the new zealand lamb shank raviolo. tomato coulis, akudjura, spicy paprika, garlic infused dehydrated yogurt and micro mint which was quite heavy for this point in the meal and he had the short ribs, which he found ok, but nothing too special as far as short ribs go. The meal at this point started to drag, as service slowed down and the hours marched on.

We were then brought salmon-flavored cotton candy. This reminded us of the fish-flavored Japanese candy that one sees in Japanese supermarkets. The flavor was intense and very good. This second appearance of cotton candy on our table made us wonder if there was a carnival cotton candy machine somewhere in a corner of the kitchen.

By this time, we were getting very restless. We were full (thanks popovers) and we had been there for 3 hours. The dining room was full and the looks on some faces, including the couple next to us, showed annoyance at the long waits between courses. Personally, at one point I had to get up and walk outside to get some fresh air, as sitting in that small dining room for so long had me a little punchy.

Our final course was chevre stuffed quail, quince clafouti, pumpkin "tea" and fall spice emulsion (me) and hudson valley foie gras beignets, bitter sweet chocolate ganache, cranberries cooked in shochu, candy apple sorbet and jus (him) My dish was far too heavy for a final course and the sauce had a sweetness to it that reminded me of something from a can. The beignets, while intriguing in description, were alright and not worth the supplement. We were then brought a tube of coconut juice, which was... well... coconut juice. I commented that it tasted like it had been prepared early in the evening and sat out. It was room temp and would have been more to my liking had it been chilled a bit. Btw, our wine, which had been poured for us over the course of the meal, just disappeared. I don't remember (nor does my meal partner) seeing a final glass poured with the bottle running out. Odd. It was difficult to even pin down which person was our waiter, as so many different staff members were waiting on us with no particular one role for any one person (except the serving girls, who were steadfast and serious about their duties. In the nearly 3.5 hours we were there, never saw either one of them so much as smile.)

We were very antsy about leaving at the point and considered passing on dessert. He wanted to try the sweet potato pana cotta. oatmeal crisp and cranberry compote and did so, coming to the conclusion after two bites, that the sweet potato panna cotta taste just didn't work. (Then again, on their website, its listed as SWEAT potato.. maybe that's the funny taste? sorry, amusing myself) I had the vanilla puffed rice with roasted marshmallow, micro mint, pistachio and chocolate soup. The chocolate was a little too strong for me (I'm a milk chocolate girl) but he tried it and like it very much. Looking and watching other tables, we realized we were never served the Pop Rocks... one thing I had wanted to try. At this point, we were so overwhelmed by the hours spent at this little table, the many tastes and trying to figure out who on staff was responsible for what, that we just wanted to get the heck out of there.

Upon leaving, the older gentleman who orignally seated us and took our coats, asked how our meal was as he was retrieving our outerwear. My friend told him that we had arrived at 7:30 and it was now after 11 and that the meal was far too long and the service slow. Rather than apologize, he said that the kitchen was overwhelmed because they were very busy that night. Now, to me, it seems that they work primarily off of reservations and its NOT that large a restaurant (12-15 tables, maybe?) Its a Saturday night in Hoboken and you've been open since last January. I just have a hard time accepting that as a reason why dinner took almost 4 hours.

Oh, one last note. Having James Beard nomination ballots folded and stamped with a US Postal service stamp on the front podium is rather tacky. I've never seen this done so blatantly, or, to tell you the truth, at all. Venue is going to really have to work on their menu, their staff and their scheduling in order to be considered for such an honor. Overall, the food was decent, the experience was ok, but I wouldn't consider going back unless there were some serious changes made to menu and management. I'm not easily impressed and I do enjoy chef's who push the envelope, but without the substance and attention to detail, something gets lost in the distance from the between the chef's ears and the diner's plate.

Edited by whitetrufflechick (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Ive been there twice already and had two amazing experiences. I dont know what went wrong with Venue that night. When I was there last time the place was also full and everything went smoothly. Im wondering if the chef was even there that night? Seems like the NYTs review may be overwelming the place. They seem to be full every night and I hope that the quality isnt going to go down. Time will tell.

Edited by dRock (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn, if Chef was only going to play eenie-meeny-miney-mo on the menu sitting in front of me or even worse, choose items off the menu based on what was moving out of the kitchen that evening vs. what was sitting around,

do you think that's the case at Venue? i'm sure that's the case some places, but at those places i don't let the chef orchestrate my meal. in fact, i don't eat at those places at all.

i think diners need to be careful when judging a restaurant's ability to handle a full dining room after one visit. all it takes is for 1 server or 1 line cook to get into a car accident on the way to work, or to call out sick, to throw off what is normally a delicate balance. when the host says they were in the weeds, well, they were in the weeds. i should add that my one dinner ran longer than i would have wanted, although it seemed reasonably paced.

having looked over the menu very carefully at Venue and then letting the kitchen send out courses, i can say that i experienced a sense of anxiety/anticipation as to what would be sent out next. i can't say that i would have expected what i received even if i took the time to study and memorize the menu.

the runners are an obvious weak point for the restaurant. a restaurant like this needs knowledegable runners. and at those prices, they should be polished and professional as well (a little too much "reaching over" when setting the table at that pricepoint for my taste). hopefully they can work on that. it was very frustrating to have these incredible and complex dishes hitting the table, and having no idea what they were. i have to imagine the chef sees this and shares in my frustration. he's on this website, so maybe he'll take a look at that.

Edited by tommy (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn, if Chef was only going to play eenie-meeny-miney-mo on the menu sitting in front of me or even worse, choose items off the menu based on what was moving out of the kitchen that evening vs. what was sitting around,

do you think that's the case at Venue? i'm sure that's the case some places, but at those places i don't let the chef orchestrate my meal. in fact, i don't eat at those places at all.

Do I think that's the case at Venue? I don't know what a chef's motivation is when the choice is put into his/her hands, but I know that as far as running a business goes, the logic that, all dishes being equal, chef could send out the ones where the ingredients are abundant, more economical or the logic of "hey, I'm preparing one dish X for table 10, its convenient to put together a second identical dish at the same time for the guy who left it up to me to decide what he's eating." I think it would be idealistic at best to think that given the choice to "choose" off the menu for an anonymous patron, the chef would give more than a passing thought to individualizing for each person who orders this way. Maybe I just like the idea that by leaving it in the chef's hands, I should get something beyond what the people ordering more conventionally are eating.

As for what you mention about service, I don't think justifying poor service after dropping as much money as was dropped can pass here. I've been in lesser establishments where the service was sketchy or the kitchen slow, but how the staff handles such occurences is the mark of a well-managed dining room/kitchen. Being in the weeds is one thing, but what I saw last night was more a lack of dining room management as opposed to being short-handed. An explanation, an apology or at least a little TLC could have had us leaving feeling better than we did. We felt it was more of a royal brushoff than an acknowledgment and concern for the fact that we were there for nearly 4 hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whitetrufflechick,Its sounds like you went there with a magnifying glass.

Looking for things to complain instead of enjoying the experience.

or at least thats the way your review reads to me, sorry

At $55 for 5 courses one should not expect perfection, that price is actually

below average for 5 courses

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whitetrufflechick,Its sounds like you went there with a magnifying glass.

Looking for things to complain instead of enjoying the experience.

or at least thats the way your review reads to me, sorry

At $55 for 5 courses one should not expect perfection, that price is actually

below average for 5 courses

Actually, the five course menu was NOT $55, but $75. per person. Check the website to verify (http://www.venue-restaurant.com) Looking for things to complain about? No, I was actually really looking forward to the meal for days beforehand, thinking that this place was be on par with a WD-50 experience. I wanted to like this place, but its unfair to post a review and not mention things, such as a meal that took nearly 4 hours, fumbling wait staff or redundancy mistaken for originality.

When a five-course meal for two with dinner, water and wine totals over $218., I think I have the right to examine the experience with a critical eye (whether I enjoyed it or not) before deciding to go back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At $55 for 5 courses one should not expect perfection, that price is actually

below average for 5 courses

5 courses runs 75 dollars. that's 180/190 dollars, give or take, for a couple, without wine or parking. that's more expensive than 99% of the restaurants in NJ i'd think.

or even worse, choose items off the menu based on what was moving out of the kitchen that evening vs. what was sitting around

Whitetrufflechick, i read the above quote as you suggesting that the chef would try to move stuff that *wasn't* moving for fear of it going bad, etc. i don't think Venue does that. i see now that you meant something entirely different.

however, i still have faith in the restaurants that i choose to visit, and i have no problem letting the chef orchestrate a meal for me, as i trust them. the chef at Venue didn't open this restaurant to make things easy on himself, that's for sure. :laugh: if he thinks the scallops follow the pear perfectly, well then i'm more than happy to let him course the dishes in that order.

edit: cross-posted with WTC.

Edited by tommy (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont get the fact that you would say the menu is redundant. Read the menu! What is redundant? The fact that someone would expect a restaurant to have a different style plate for every item is rediculous! I have never been to a place that has such things and I've been to most notable places in NYC and NJ. So you came to the restaurant on a busy night and your meal took longer than you would have liked. It happens. Remember this place just got a great review from the NY Times. Im sure they are overwhelmed with business right now, I wouldnt hold this against the place! I wouldnt even be suprised if some of the employees there are new. A NY Times review can turn a place upside down especially an excellent one. To expect a place when filled to capacity to create a customised tasting menu for two when they already have a large menu ( one of the largest selections Ive seen at a high calibur place) is a tad unreasonable wouldnt you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont get the fact that you would say the menu is redundant.  Read the menu!  What is redundant?  The fact that someone would expect a restaurant to have a different style plate for every item is rediculous!

i think WTC's point was that the plateware was "redundant", not the menu necessarily. i didn't find that, but it's clearly a personal preference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont get the fact that you would say the menu is redundant.  Read the menu!  What is redundant?  The fact that someone would expect a restaurant to have a different style plate for every item is rediculous! I have never been to a place that has such things and I've been to most notable places in NYC and NJ.  So you came to the restaurant on a busy night and your meal took longer than you would have liked.  It happens.  Remember this place just got a great review from the NY Times.  Im sure they are overwhelmed with business right now,  I wouldnt hold this against the place!  I wouldnt even be suprised if some of the employees there are new.  A NY Times review can turn a place upside down especially an excellent one.  To expect a place when filled to capacity to create a customised tasting menu for two when they already have a large menu ( one of the largest selections Ive seen at a high calibur place) is a tad unreasonable wouldnt you think?

Maybe repetitive would be a better word? I stand by the fact that serving FLAVORED COTTON CANDY in more than one dish is repetitive. Serving more than one course in the same novelty votive candle holder is repetitive. Using rice crispies in both my chocolate soup and his paella is repetitive.

And yes, of course its ridiculous to expect a different plate for every item. But something like the votive candle holder completely loses its uniqueness when used more than once at a meal.

My meal didn't take longer than I'd like. Maybe 2.5 hours would have been longer than I'd like. Even three might be pushing it. But nearly 4 hours sitting at a table waiting for the next course to find its way out is excessive and unexcusable. All the great reviews in the world shouldnt justify a 15-20 table restaurant's inability to get their patrons out in a semi-respectable amount of time. For goodness sake's, wouldn't it be more economical if nothing else, to have the table turnover at least once over the course of the evening?

A customised tasting menu. Well, is it or isn't it? I go back to my point to Tommy that Chef's motivation to create this "leave it in our hands" tasting menu really isn't anything special...it could be convenience (I'm cooking one, why not do another), economics (we have a ton of mahi sitting here and we need to move it) or "hey, I'm in a paella mood tonite, lets send out some paella." In a situation where the Chef would be choosing off the menu just as the customer might, in my opinion there's nothing that would really make for a meal that was more special than ordering off the menu yourself. Not to mention Morimoto again, but that night we basically gave them the dollar amount we wanted to spend and what came out of the kitchen were some dishes from the menu and others that were out of the blue. It was a "high-caliber place" with a full dining room, but what made it special was the fact that we were exposed to dishes that weren't on the menu and a few really stretched the limits of the chef's imagination (and may have been the reason they weren't on the menu) - but those are the chances taken when truly putting yourself in the chef's hands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems like Whitetrufflechick (WTC) brings up some more than fair points. Just because a restaurant is crushed, a 4-hour 5-course meal is unacceptable. Everyone has their own standards of judgement, and I dont thing WTC was being unreasonable. With that said, her post still doesn't deter me from wanting try the place. If I have an experience similar to dRock, Venue will have exceeded my expectations. Based on what's been said about this restaurant, it seems to fall into the realm of ambivalence that a lot of similar establishment do. wd-50 is loved by some but hated by others, Alinea and Moto got blasted by Mariani but are widely understood to be two of the most avant garde restaurants in the country.

If Venue is delivering cutting edge food, some of the NJ-esque service flaws can be overlooked. If not, it's simply another NJ restaurant floundering while trying to do too much.

Edited by BryanZ (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems like Whitetrufflechick (WTC) brings up some more than fair points.  Just because a restaurant is crushed, a 4-hour 5-course meal is unacceptable.  Everyone has their own standards of judgement, and I dont thing WTC was being unreasonable.  With that said, her post still doesn't deter me from wanting try the place.  If I have an experience similar to dRock, Venue will have exceeded my expectations.  Based on what's been said about this restaurant, it seems to fall into the realm of ambivalence that a lot of similar establishment do.  wd-50 is loved by some but hated by others, Alinea and Moto got blasted by Mariani but are widely understood to be two of the most avant garde restaurants in the country.

If Venue is delivering cutting edge food, some of the NJ-esque service flaws can be overlooked.  If not, it's simply another NJ restaurant floundering while trying to do too much.

Nicely put, Brian. Would love to read many more reviews of this place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...