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Gilt


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Finally a review that is actually about the food at Gilt! Adam Platt writes as if he knows his way around a menu and a dish. It makes AP's opinion IMO much more trustworthy and valuable.

I cancelled my Times delivery a long time ago, Bruni seems barely worth the time for free on the internet. I hope he does not actually influence diners.

If you order only one dish, however, make it Liebrandt’s foie gras (another $18 supplement), which is encased in a thin membrane of beets, served over a nori tuile, and eaten on segments of brioche toast, which you can spread with truffle butter served in a tiny silver pot.

Man, that sounds good!! I would love to try that! This review actually encourages me to try Gilt. But, I'll pass on the $1000 glass of Screaming Eagle and leave that to some other shmuck to try.

-Mike

-Mike & Andrea

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In re-reading the Gilt review--I keep getting the feeling that Bruni is not providing an accurate review of the experience one can have dining there.

. . . .

he provides little or no context

. . . .

Basically the reader takes away: "me and my pals thought the food was too complicated."

. . . .

Bruni still does not provide any indication that one can dine more simply here and he certainly does not attempt to provide any context for what the chef is attempting to achieve with the dishes Bruni does not like--maybe Bruni and his dining pals should have paid attention!

Bruni's assessment of Gilt may be right on--I just do not trust him.

Good points and well said, even if I've deleted the supporting material. The key word for me in the first quote is "can." Bruni limits himself and the reader to his experience, which is as small as his outlook. It's a disservice both to the chef and the potential diner. But I lie, you correctly note my error. It's not Bruni's subjective experience, it's the universality of the combined taste of Bruni and his selected guest. Perhaps Bruni assumes the Times has hired him for his taste, or to be a taste maker. Bruni's assessment may well be right on, I don't know for sure that it isn't, but you've got good reason not to trust that it is.

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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Finally a review that is actually about the food at Gilt!  Adam Platt writes as if he knows his way around a menu and a dish.  It makes AP's opinion IMO much more trustworthy and valuable.

I cancelled my Times delivery a long time ago, Bruni seems barely worth the time for free on the internet.  I hope he does not actually influence diners.

If you order only one dish, however, make it Liebrandt’s foie gras (another $18 supplement), which is encased in a thin membrane of beets, served over a nori tuile, and eaten on segments of brioche toast, which you can spread with truffle butter served in a tiny silver pot.

Man, that sounds good!! I would love to try that! This review actually encourages me to try Gilt. But, I'll pass on the $1000 glass of Screaming Eagle and leave that to some other shmuck to try.

-Mike

It IS exciting to read a review that's about the food!!!

Really well written, fun and informative.

Platt touches on some interesting things, like the 'Classical' & 'Modern' menus, which weren't mentioned in the Times.

Also, what the audience is for this type of dining.

I hope people will support this platform.

There's too many places all doing the same thing.

2317/5000

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I can't stop thinking about Todd's experience of a fishy fish, regardless of anything else. Would any of those of you who are fans of Liebrandt feel fine about getting a fishy fish at Gilt? If I were thinking of going to Gilt for a big blowout celebration of something, it's not the Bruni review but the experience of Todd and his dining partner that would cause me to choose a different restaurant.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I can't stop thinking about Todd's experience of a fishy fish, regardless of anything else. Would any of those of you who are fans of Liebrandt feel fine about getting a fishy fish at Gilt? If I were thinking of going to Gilt for a big blowout celebration of something, it's not the Bruni review but the experience of Todd and his dining partner that would cause me to choose a different restaurant.

You could call this the Bruni effect, "I don't like Bruni, therefore, that review must be wrong" effect. If you're going to put faith in the NY Mag review, note that at three stars they put Balthazar, Bouley and Ouest. If you think Bouley belongs with those two....

"If his menu were larger and more varied, we’d be tempted to give him a fourth star" is my favorite quote from the NY Mag Gilt review. I guess that means they like diners.

One last point. As we were waiting for out table, we were at the bar. I couldn't help but notice the small, plastic bottles of juices, like Tropacana OJ from concentrate open behind the bar. In the land of the $22 cocktail. I asked about these and was told "well, we usually use fresh squeezed, but when we run out...." If you had a cocktail that Friday, that OJ from concentrate was what you paid $22 for.......

For a number of reasons, I would not view Gilt as a safe choice for a special occassion.

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I can't stop thinking about Todd's experience of a fishy fish, regardless of anything else. Would any of those of you who are fans of Liebrandt feel fine about getting a fishy fish at Gilt? If I were thinking of going to Gilt for a big blowout celebration of something, it's not the Bruni review but the experience of Todd and his dining partner that would cause me to choose a different restaurant.

While I can't call myself a Liebrandt fan (since I have only eaten his food once), I do consider Todd's fishy fish experience inexcusable and I would have made a big stink about it in the restaurant.

Same goes for the Tropicana OJ. Regardless of whether people can tell or not that the few drops of OJ in their cocktail is indeed Tropicana from concentrate, at a restaurant with these price points, that is striving to be one of the top restaurants in the city, stuff like this just cannot happen.

Arley Sasson

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You could call this the Bruni effect, "I don't like Bruni, therefore, that review must be wrong" effect.  If you're going to put faith in the NY Mag review, note that at three stars they put Balthazar, Bouley and Ouest.  If you think Bouley belongs with those two....
I actually think that Bruni's "bottom line" is correct far more often than not, but he has stubbed his toe often enough that his credibility is in doubt almost every week.

One must always bear in mind that the star ratings are comparable only when looking at restaurants that are in the same market segment. Bouley and Gilt are both in the luxury segment. Platt's three stars for Bouley and Gilt means he considers them a step behind other luxury restaurants to which he gave four or five stars. It does not mean that all of Platt's three-star restaurants are directly comparable to one another.

Similarly, Gilt's two stars from Bruni are not comparable to Sripraphai or The Red Cat (to which he also gave two stars).

"If his menu were larger and more varied, we’d be tempted to give him a fourth star" is my favorite quote from the NY Mag Gilt review.  I guess that means they like diners.

I, too, found that comment a bit out-of-bounds. It might well make sense to deduct a star for a menu that's too limited, but this criticism really isn't explained in the review.

As a bit of context, the latest menu shown on Gilt's website shows a total of seven appetizers and seven main courses between the classical menu and the modern menu. That does seem a little bit light. Daniel's website shows ten appetizers and nine main courses. Le Bernardin's website shows ten choices in the "almost raw" category, nine that are "barely touched," and another eleven that are "lightly cooked." Alain Ducasse's website shows just six appetizers, but there are eleven main courses. (There is no on-line menu for Jean Georges. Per Se, with its three long tasting menus that change daily, is difficult to compare on the same basis.)

So, it would appear to be true that Gilt's menu is indeed less varied than at least three other luxury restaurants that might be considered its peers. Whether that's sufficient reason to withhold a star is an interesting question.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I can't stop thinking about Todd's experience of a fishy fish, regardless of anything else.

I think a report of "fishy fish' is a sort of subjective thing, that's why I didn't comment on it .

Two things come to mind.

The infamous "rubbery" lobster at Per SE ( did Todd36 report that too? Curious)

The other is, if it was "fishy", why didn't he and his dining partner send it back? Get a server to get their nose in it?

If it was good enough to eat, it shouldn't have been written up here, IMO.

I would have the same opinion about any chefs food.

It's an inflammatory statement, accusing someone of feeding one "off" food.

2317/5000

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The other is, if it was "fishy", why didn't he and his dining partner send it back? Get a server to get their nose in it?

If it was good enough to eat, it shouldn't have been written up here, IMO.

Any honest perception of the meal is reasonable commentary. One might eat a dish without sending it back, and yet, conclude that it wasn't good enough for the price paid.
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You're correct of course,oak.

But, a suggestion of off smelling or fishy smelling fish is suggesting something is being served that's in a "state, KWIM?

And that just heaps more stuff up here, negatives, in a much more public way then the newpaper.

Mind you, if you're a cook or a chef and you open some of those croyovac packed meats and get a whiff, nobody would be eating meat either.

2317/5000

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You're correct of course,oak.

But, a suggestion of off smelling or fishy smelling fish is suggesting something is being served that's in a "state, KWIM?

And that just heaps more stuff up here,  negatives, in a much more public way then the newpaper.

Mind you, if you're a cook or a chef and you open some of those croyovac packed meats and get a whiff, nobody would be eating meat either.

Re reading the Tod post IMOP--the "fishy" thing is being blown out of proportion.

"fishy" and "off" are two different descriptors in food writing.

One can be good and the other is definitely bad.

IMOP--Tod does a better job--limited by one meal--of describing the food than does Bruni.

Also--wallowing in a debate over stars doesn't seem to get one very far.

I wish there was more discipline in awarding stars--the best we can expect is the critic in question be consistent and establish a strong rationale for how (criteria) he or she awards these things.

As I see it the proof is in the writing of the review--does the critic provide helpful information to a range of types of diners and does that critic provide an accurate assessment of the quality of the experience--atmosphere, service and most importantly food.

Especially with a restaurant with the pretensions of Gilt--it is irksome to have important elements like wine list , pricing and service given short shrift--Bruni notes wine prices are high and suggests one look to a long list of teas. this is annoying to a wine enthusiast (one assumes a lot of people interested in a review of a high end place like Gilt would be interested in a bit more information as to the wine experience to be expected).

It is also annoying to someone who might want a tad more information on that list of teas Bruni notes. (is not a comprehensive and interesting tea service worth noting in a review?)

IMOP--he is too busy using the tea list comment to make a pithy statement about the wine list.

It is also irksome that Bruni interjects the comments and opinions of his "companions."

The impression is Bruni is not confident asserting his own assessments and feels the need to muster some support to make his case.

Bruni and the Times are " gilty" of not providing readers with a good well written review of Gilt. (see it isn't so hard to be "cute").

There is simply not enough information about what Gilt is offering diners.

IMOP--Bruni is focusing too much time on clever writing and too little time in perfecting the art of writing a good solid restaurant review.

"Companions--comments and jokes, references to cartoon characters, puns, wordplay, and references to popular culture (Kubrick) aside--"where's the beef?!"

Edited by JohnL (log)
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I can't stop thinking about Todd's experience of a fishy fish, regardless of anything else. Would any of those of you who are fans of Liebrandt feel fine about getting a fishy fish at Gilt? If I were thinking of going to Gilt for a big blowout celebration of something, it's not the Bruni review but the experience of Todd and his dining partner that would cause me to choose a different restaurant.

You could call this the Bruni effect, "I don't like Bruni, therefore, that review must be wrong" effect.

Not that it must be wrong, but that I don't consider his opinion reliable.

If you're going to put faith in the NY Mag review, note that at three stars they put Balthazar, Bouley and Ouest.  If you think Bouley belongs with those two....

Well, considering that the one time I went to Bouley for lunch, it was not only underwhelming but they gave my brother some raw chicken in a dish where the chicken was supposed to have been cooked....But why would I put my faith in NY Mag? I pay much more attention to what's posted here by people I respect.

By the way, like Ted, if I had clearly noticed that a fish dish were fishy at those prices, I definitely would have sent it back.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'm not sure how many chefs read this thread but, I brought up this whole red mullet/rouget thing today with the chef I work with.

He's found the several times he's worker with rouget he felt it had a "prescence" about it.

Loves the fish.

Just thought I'd throw it in there.

2317/5000

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I'm not sure how many chefs read this thread but, I brought up this whole red mullet/rouget thing today with the  chef I work with.

He's found the several times he's worker with rouget he felt it had a "prescence" about it.

Loves the fish.

Just thought I'd throw it in there.

Natto has a presence too, it is fermented soybeans after all. The rouget that Gilt served wasn't foul, it just seemed to be past it's prime. Now maybe someone is going to say roget is supposed to taste like that...I have my doubts though. I eat fish at about half my meals, including lots of sushi and unusual fish, and I would say this was past its prime. My Japanese born and raised dining friend, who eats mostly fish, independently thought the rouget was past its prime. Yes, I've had off things at some very fine places, and the fish alone was not enough to be a big problem. But combined with poor plating, that from concentrate OJ and a lame execuse from the on-duty manager and a general sense that things were not being run right, indicates to me something wrong with the way Gilt is being run. Note that Gilt has availablity this coming Friday and Saturday. In a 50 seat dining room. Now maybe the NYT still has that kind of power, maybe people read this thread. Or maybe the word of mouth isn't that great.

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With respect to the wine list, it's big. Loaded with things like 20 or so kinds of Romane-Conti and the like, going up to something like $15,000 a bottle. It's the wine list of a very, very expensive restaurant. It has some cheaper things too...but it also has $100 Alsation Rislings. If you want something very expensive, they may have it. They even have Belijious for $4-50 a bottle (I'm not enough of a wine expert to know how big the mark-up was, smaller producers).

Bruni really did tell you all you need to know; it's a place for people who have a big budget for wine and I'd bet even if you really knew what you were doing, there are no bargins.

Edited by Todd36 (log)
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I'm not sure how many chefs read this thread but, I brought up this whole red mullet/rouget thing today with the  chef I work with.

He's found the several times he's worker with rouget he felt it had a "prescence" about it.

Loves the fish.

Just thought I'd throw it in there.

Rouget should not have a presence, however it is difficult to find specimens here in the US that does not. There are two very different types of rouget, though they are essentially the same fish. Great rouget, what you will find in restaurants in Europe who can afford them, are rouget de roche, that is, rouget that live and feed off the rocky cliffs and stony bottoms all along the northern meditteranean.

Most, if not all the others, are sand rougets, swimming in shallow waters and tending to frequent river mouths and sewage outlets as it tends to be a junk eating fish by nature.

Think about that. With a fish where many classical preparations involve utilizing its liver, why would one buy a junk eating fish and one that spoils so quickly on top of that? Hence the price differential between the two. And that is if you can find someone completely scrupulous who is importing the product.

Most rougets coming to the US are these sand rougets from the southern meditteranean (Morrocco is a common source) and hawaii, believe it or not.

Rouget de roche from the northern mediterranean and parts of Portugal, are difficult to find, don't travel well, and are prohibitively expensive for all but the most demanding restaurants and clientele.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When we visited Mugaritz restaurant in the Basque country, of Spain in February, 2006, we were informed that the Chef Paul Liebrandt who had a stint at Mugaritz under Andoni L. Aduriz the chef of Mugaritz, had a new venue in NY city. We were delighted to read the Frank Bruni review of this seemingly talented chef. Have other eGulleters' visited this new significant chef and evaluated his work? Frank Bruni's review was promising. Any comments? Judith Gebhart

Administrative Note: Threads merged here.

Edited by Pan (log)
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other people have mentioned that to me as well, that the review actually was positive

i assume they mean discounting brunis bias vs "ag?" style, and gilts ambitions

yes its the same restaurant and the cooking should be excellent

i hate to bring up the old dirt but the rouget thing is killing me; knowing paul and his cuisine and his tendencies, i would be amazed if the rouget wasnt seasoned with its own liver; for me one of the best flavors from the sea, but like sea urchin, monkfish liver and other delicacies, also quite fishy. it is not impossible for a chef to serve inferior product, but it is also not impossible for consumers not to really understand what they are eating.

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i hate to bring up the old dirt but the rouget thing is killing me; knowing paul and his cuisine and his tendencies, i would be amazed if the rouget wasnt seasoned with its own liver; for me one of the best flavors from the sea, but like sea urchin, monkfish liver and other delicacies, also quite fishy.  it is not impossible for a chef to serve inferior product, but it is also not impossible for consumers not to really understand what they are eating.

That's interesting, because that's a flavor I absolutely LOVE.

But if a chef is going to do that, don't you think it's incumbent on him to say so on the menu, so that diners know what to expect? (I'm thinking of the possibility that calf's liver, which I absolutely CAN'T STAND, would show up unannounced in some beef dish I had ordered. I don't know that I'd be able to keep it down.)

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Will,

I've been meaning to come by Room 4 Dessert and say, "Waddup." Need to. Anyways, do not let the rouget "thing" kill you, as I gathered it was probably not the kitchen's fault, and if it was, no biggie. The fish quality in most NY restaurants is OK at best, but I'm also a person who has questioned the quality of sashimi and sushi I had at Masa, not to mention handfuls of other places.

il

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The new stuff looks good, but those slaughter images have got to go. They're fetishism at it's worst and reeking of a mid-nineties NIN asthetic that was more than silly then.

Edited by dan. (log)
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