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Gilt


greensNbeans
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But disconnects are sort of inevitable, aren't they? If I were the Times restaurant critic -- a horrible prospect, since I'm even more technically unqualified than Bruni -- I'd keep Blue Hill's two-star rating, whereas plenty of people here would give it three. There are plenty of restaurants -- The Tasting Room, L'Impero, Peasant, Les Halles, to name a few off the top of my head -- that get a lot of praise (in some cases, uniform praise) that I don't see at all. And I'm sure there are places that I like a lot that others would say I overvalue.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we're never all going to be on the same page. And you can't know if you'll -- you, a particular person -- like someplace, or think it's worthwhile, or that it lives up to its reputation, or however you want to put it, until you try it, no matter what anyone else says.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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But disconnects are sort of inevitable, aren't they?  If I were the Times restaurant critic -- a horrible prospect, since I'm even more technically unqualified than Bruni -- I'd keep Blue Hill's two-star rating, whereas plenty of people here would give it three.  There are plenty of restaurants -- The Tasting Room, L'Impero, Peasant, Les Halles, to name a few off the top of my head -- that get a lot of praise (in some cases, uniform praise) that I don't see at all.  And I'm sure there are places that I like a lot that others would say I overvalue.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we're never all going to be on the same page.  And you can't know if you'll -- you, a particular person -- like someplace, or think it's worthwhile, or that it lives up to its reputation, or however you want to put it, until you try it, no matter what anyone else says.

You are certainly correct, which is one of the things that does keep life interesting.

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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Sneakeater, your opinion is certainly valid if that is where the hope truly lay. I don't believe it is though. I hope Gilt is as good a restaurant as posters here have made it out to be and gets the recognition that it deserves. I would have liked it to have received three stars (or more), but only if it is truly deserving of them.

That's well put. I suppose an athletic analogy might help. If a player is making a comeback after a long absence, I might say that I hope he does well. Implicit in that "hope," is that his success, if any, will be deserved.

Obviously, disappointment with the Bruni review is on more than one level. People are saying any/all of the following:

1) I've dined at Gilt, and based on my experience the review is wrong.

2) I haven't dined at Gilt, but I know Paul Liebrandt's cuisine, and this just doesn't sound right.

3) I'd like such a restaurant to be (deservedly) successful, and so I hope that the positive reviews from eGullet members are more accurate than Bruni's unflattering review.

4) The review is no journalistic gem, and whether Bruni's verdict on Gilt is accurate or not, one wants to see it more compellingly explained.

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. . . .

Substantively I do not understand what Bruni faults Gilt for, other than a single fish dish (the sole) and what he sees as Liebrandt's culinary verbosity.  . . .

As I noted before, it appears to me that he didn't like the food and that's a subjective opinion to which he's entitled. What's unfortunate is that the backing of the NY Times gets put behind one questionable subjective opinion. Perhaps this is just one more instance demonstrating the weakness of the star system.

"I loved the chef's technical virtuosity, but hated the flavors and combinations of flavors," without the addition of a rating, is going to have a very different effect on readers than the same statement combined with a number and it's unrealistic to expect a reviewer to award a high number, if he didn't like the food. I assume each and every reviewer would like to believe they were hired for their opinion, even when they've never offered one in public before they were hired.

Intelligent readers will, if they can't disregrd the rating, at least read the lines and perhaps between the lines.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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. . . .

Substantively I do not understand what Bruni faults Gilt for, other than a single fish dish (the sole) and what he sees as Liebrandt's culinary verbosity.  . . .

As I noted before, it appears to me that he didn't like the food and that's a subjective opinion to which he's entitled. What's unfortunate is that the backing of the NY Times gets put behind one questionable subjective opinion. Perhaps this is just one more instance demonstrating the weakness of the star system.

"I loved the chef's technical virtuosity, but hated the flavors and combinations of flavors," without the addition of a rating, is going to have a very different effect on readers than the same statement combined with a number and it's unrealistic to expect a reviewer to award a high number, if he didn't like the food. I assume each and every reviewer would like to believe they were hired for their opinion, even when they've never offered one in public before they were hired.

Intelligent readers will, if they can't disregrd the rating, at least read the lines and perhaps between the lines.

I can't even adequately state how much I agree with this post.

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That's well put. I suppose an athletic analogy might help. If a player is making a comeback after a long absence, I might say that I hope he does well. Implicit in that "hope," is that his success, if any, will be deserved.

I don't want to drag this out, but it's funny you should say that, because I thought of that EXACT SAME analogy last night.

Here's where I think it fails. Success in sports (let's put figure skating and gymnastics aside) is a completely objective thing. It's not a matter of how some third party judges you in accordance with unclear criteria that others might or might not share: you either succeed at hitting .300 or you don't.

So hoping an athletic comeback succeeds simply means hoping someone objectively succeeds qualitatively at what they're trying to do.

Starred reviews aren't like that. This is exacerbated because none of us really trusts Bruni, but even with the most reliable evaluators (Claiborne, Sheraton) there's an element of unpredictability and caprice in star awards. So if you "hope" for a three-star award, it's not the same as hoping the restaurant is actually good. It's more like hoping it gets the recognition afforded a good restaurant (with the attendant economic benefits). That seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse: you're wishing the owners success (at the expense of consumers who pay the fare) without knowing how good it is.

I think I understand why people say things like this, and I object to it. I care more about my fellow consumers than the chefs and the owners. I think a particular venture should only succeed financially if it deserves to -- not because of the chef's or owner's reputation or what they've done in the past or what we hope they'll do in the future, but because of what they're doing now. Just because I love the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed (and, I'm happy to say, A Bigger Bang), it doesn't mean that I "hope" anyone spends his money buying Goat's Head Soup and Steel Wheels (or that those substandard products get praised as if they were good).

I think there's a difference between saying "I hope it's a very good restaurant" or "I hope it turns out to deserve three stars" on the one hand and "I hope it gets three stars" on the other. As I've repeated to the point where I'm sure nobody wants to hear it any more, I don't see how you can justifiably say the latter if you haven't been to the restaurant.

I know this must seem like a very nice (lawyer lingo for "crabbed") distinction. But for some reason I really think it matters.

(And -- to the undoubted relief of everyone else -- I'm willing to agree to stop yammering about this if it's getting really tiresome.)

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Sneakeater, I think that some of what you're reacting to is based on professional respect. It's highly defensible for a fellow chef to hope Liebrandt does well in his new place, and I don't think less of such a person for not considering diners they mostly don't know personally to be more important to them than the chef. Where you stand depends on where you sit.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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That's well put. I suppose an athletic analogy might help. If a player is making a comeback after a long absence, I might say that I hope he does well. Implicit in that "hope," is that his success, if any, will be deserved.

I don't want to drag this out, but it's funny you should say that, because I thought of that EXACT SAME analogy last night.

Here's where I think it fails. Success in sports (let's put figure skating and gymnastics aside) is a completely objective thing. It's not a matter of how some third party judges you in accordance with unclear criteria that others might or might not share: you either succeed at hitting .300 or you don't.

So hoping an athletic comeback succeeds simply means hoping someone objectively succeeds qualitatively at what they're trying to do.

Starred reviews aren't like that.

I know you want to get off this discussion, but I can't resist :raz::laugh:

Now that the winter Olympics is upon us, Michelle Kwan is a perfect example of an athlete competing in a very subjective sport that many people would like to see get high scores and maybe even a gold medal if she deserves them...

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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You know, what bugs me is that a review like this really confuses the issue...

There's been enough written about Liebrandt, where he's been, who he's worked for and with, and where he's at, culinarily, that I'm not sure it's even relevent when a Bruni says "" this doesn't work', "there's too many conflicts on a plate".

I've been thinking about all of this review stuff.

I trust reviews I read here probably more then I do the NYTimes even though that's my hometown newpaper and I even bought my own yesterday but, I digress.

When I said "I hope so & so get three stars" it's based on the feeling I get from people I trust, some of whom I don't even know.

If Liebrandt is stinking up the place it will get out there quick enough, won't it?

When Bouley was having problems, FOH wise, it had been extensively documented here, by many.

Per Se had a few bumps along the road, didn't it?

Much to the dismay of the Keller-philes, he got his butt raked along the coals here & there,

no?

It's been said here a bunch, Bruni lost a certain amount of cred when he hung the high wine pricing on this chefs new restaurant.

Reviewers lose credibility with me when they talk about their "friends" opinions as much as their own.

What's that about???

I'm a food geek, a chef (pastry) , I'm a fan of food and the chefs who conceptualize this stuff, inspire me, so on and so forth.

2317/5000

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At least Kwans performance will be rated based on something tangible, not something personal, know what I mean?

The more I cook for people, the more I feel all of this is based on personal tastes.

I've had people send something back because they felt it was too "abstract" ( a lemon napoleon of sorts) when it wasn't abstract at all, it just didn't fit their personal feeling of what it should have looked like.

That's what I mean by "personal'.

I feel like the review was based too much on personal feelings, feelings about flavor profiles, combinations that one either understands or doesn't, amonst other things.

2317/5000

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At least Kwans performance will be rated based on something tangible, not something personal, know what I mean?[...]

Nope. Based on my experience in watching ice skating, the judges often wouldn't know "artistic merit" if it hit them square in the face. So no way do I think ice skating judging is less personal or based on anything more tangible than food criticism.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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At least Kwans performance will be rated based on something tangible, not something personal, know what I mean?[...]

Nope. Based on my experience in watching ice skating, the judges often wouldn't know "artistic merit" if it hit them square in the face. So no way do I think ice skating judging is less personal or based on anything more tangible than food criticism.

I suppose the judges do intrepret those rules subjectively also.

2317/5000

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Obviously, disappointment with the Bruni review is on more than one level. People are saying any/all of the following:

1) I've dined at Gilt, and based on my experience the review is wrong.

2) I haven't dined at Gilt, but I know Paul Liebrandt's cuisine, and this just doesn't sound right.

3) I'd like such a restaurant to be (deservedly) successful, and so I hope that the positive reviews from eGullet members are more accurate than Bruni's unflattering review.

4) The review is no journalistic gem, and whether Bruni's verdict on Gilt is accurate or not, one wants to see it more compellingly explained.

I know I promised to keep quiet, but just in the interest of clarity, none of my comments was directed at anyone's expressing disappointment with the Bruni review.

Hell, I've expressed disappointment with the Bruni review.

I was talking about something else.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Too much food!!! Well, I kept my reservation. I have mixed views. Clearly, the kitchen can cook, and, clearly, something is missing. It's good, and they probably deserved three stars. They did not deserve four. I think I know where Bruni was coming from. Things are not clicking. Most of the combinations don't taste like they should. Almost nothing was super memorable. No transdecent fish. We had the tasting menus, with what seemed like random modifications from the chef. Even the servers were like, ummm, we've haven't seen it done this way before. We also got one dish that I think wasn't on the menu, it seemed to surprise the staff: quail steamed in cryovac with tea and pine needles. Smelled wonderful when opened at the table, not as much flavor as one would have expected. Also, a little hard to eat on the bone. Plating skills are not up to four star standards. Bread was very good, brioche and chestnut in particular. Dover sole seemed to be missing something and another fish course, rougot I think, was slightly fishy in my opinion. We also had the crab app, vension and the aforementioned quail. Not to mention 4 cheeses in the cheese course. It's all good but...kitchen needs more time. Bruni was unfair with two stars but.....he was not crazy, this is a kitchen that isn't there yet. The manager on duty said to give them a few more months. It's not a big dining room, only 50 seats, and we might have shown more food interest than others, clearly, the kitchen wasn't treating us the same, we saw what other people were getting.

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The manager on duty said to give them a few more months.  It's not a big dining room, only 50 seats, and we might have shown more food interest than others, clearly, the kitchen wasn't treating us the same, we saw what other people were getting.

The kitchen wasn't treating you the same because you were on here almost cancelling out!!!

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

No, really though, this board gets read and (I believe) restaurants have a good idea who's in the house at times.

Seems that I've read things pointing to that in other threads.

Notably wd50 but others also.

eG gets read!

Thanks for the report.

2317/5000

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Bottom line - the NY Times critic went into Gilt with three stars as his median point. If the restaurant exceeded his pre-conceived notions, he would have given it four. If it didn't live up to his expectations, two would be the number. It's as simple as that. All the other stuff is decoration.

I'm going to brag a little here. When the subject of stars about this restaurant came up several weeks ago, I wrote in an earlier post on this thread two would probably be the number (you could look it up). That was based on what the critic wrote in his "price" piece. He is so easy to read it's pathetic.

Just to relate this to another restaurant - Del Posto has no shot at four and three is questionable. However, the critic has a certain affinity to and with Batali, so three is still a remote possibilty providing the place opens up again after closing its doors next Saturday and Sunday.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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I'm going to brag a little here. When the subject of stars about this restaurant came up several weeks ago, I wrote in an earlier post on this thread two would probably be the number (you could look it up). That was based on what the critic wrote in his "price" piece.
I remember. All due praise to Rich. He called this shot correctly.
He is so easy to read it's pathetic.
What's pathetic about that? If Bruni is so dependable, that ought to be seen as a virtue.
Just to relate this to another restaurant - Del Posto has no shot at four and three is questionable.

Here I agree. Edited by oakapple (log)
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He is so easy to read it's pathetic.
What's pathetic about that? If Bruni is so dependable, that ought to be seen as a virtue.

You're right Marc, we should find some comfort in his consistency.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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true facts from a source:

Gilt recieved two stars - yes, you know that already

Gilt is now closed for lunch

Gilt layed off all the lunch staff ( about 11 cooks and servers), same day of review.

The New york palace GM who made this call, John Segreti dies of heart attack the following day.

The food at Gilt is no doubt far better than other 2-star restaurants in the city who probably is connected to these critics.

I assume you all know that Bruni usually calls the chef and try to get an education about the food so he could write articles about their dishes like a food connoseur.

Bruni should be a food whiner not a free-riding over-weight writer.

Less life possesions means more life options.

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[...]Dover sole seemed to be missing something and another fish course, rougot I think, was slightly fishy in my opinion.[...]

Todd, to my mind, that's very damning. I consider it inexcusable for fish to be the least bit fishy at that price point.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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[...]Dover sole seemed to be missing something and another fish course, rougot I think, was slightly fishy in my opinion.[...]

Todd, to my mind, that's very damning. I consider it inexcusable for fish to be the least bit fishy at that price point.

Spoke with my dining friend, and she agreed the rougot was fishy. She's Japanese and tends to notice these things. A few more quick comments.

The amuses were extensive, but I'll be damned if I know what I was eating. None were super memorable.

First real course was dover sole. It's a cold, and very small dish. It tastes fine, but doesn't let the fact that it's Dover sole show through. Could have been any mild, well cooked white fish.

Second course, also, cold, and fairly small, was a combo of Dungess crab and foe gra (OK, I can't spell when I am in a rush). It's fine, but doesn't have real impact to me. This has black trufflee, but not as strong as I would expect. In fact, seasoning across the meal is mild. Not a standard dish, the server said it had suddenly been made differently. In fact, for almost every course our servers had to peer at our food to indentify what it was.... This course had something interesting, ground seaweed had been mixed with suger and I think baked, into a disk. Interesting, but not sure what it added here. Kitche has both a sweet and chocolate tooth.

At this point, I'm wondering why so much cold food. Also, no salad or soup any where in the meal, unless you count odd foams. Also, they like spooning sauces on things at the table, which is a problem becuase as the server admits, they don't do a good job at it.

Third course is the fishy rogout, served warm in larger piece. Might have been good, if it wasn't fishy.

At this point, I think we got the olive oil and wasabi sorbet (might have been after the next course). Strong wasabi at one end of my sorbet, none on my friend's. The kitchen seems to have consistency problems. Our meals have slight plating variations. I like the sorbet quite a bit.

Now comes the quail, steamed with tea and pine needles. It was good, but not as flavorful as I hoped, given the oders. My friend liked this dish a lot. This is not on the menu, it just appeared, to the surprise of the server.

Now the vension. It was fine, but not super memorable.

Across the meal, a lack of interesting vegetables.

Now, clementine sorbet.

Then chocolate desserts, with too much use of chilli pepper. Why the dessert and almost nothing else needs so much spice I don't understand.

Overall, it's good. A low three star rating would be fair I guess. The fact that my friend agrees the rougot was fishy makes me harsher than last night.

Per Se, which was not my favorite place given its hype and pricing, was significantly better.

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