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Gordon Ramsay at the London


johnder
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think 1/3 to 1/5 of Bar Room at the Modern portions. (or 1/10 of the Tarte Flambee)

put differently, there is no doubt in my mind that a full meal in the main dining room at RGR can be more economical than a full meal in the LB...that's what really rubbed me the wrong way

Edited by Nathan (log)
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I haven't found any other reviewer that says you have to spend $80 in the Bar Room to put together a complete meal. I've found plenty who say that, for what you spend, it's just not worth it. A more relevant point is that if you're already on the hook to spend $55-60 for bar food, you might as well spend the extra $20-25 and get the real thing.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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If you could easily get in to buy the real thing.

I haven't heard anyone saying that it's terribly difficult to get in. You have to plan in advance, but that's not unlike plenty of high-end places. With word-of-mouth and the first round of reviews not ecstatic, I suspect it will only get easier.

Ramsay has got to be crossing his fingers now for three stars from the Times. If Bruni files what amounts to a combined review for the Bar Room and the main Dining Room—as he originally did, for instance, at The Modern—I think Ramsay could be in big trouble.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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smaller

think 1/3 to 1/5 of Bar Room at the Modern portions.  (or 1/10 of the Tarte Flambee)

put differently, there is no doubt in my mind that a full meal in the main dining room at RGR can be more economical than a full meal in the LB...that's what really rubbed me the wrong way

Though I am ashamed to admit that I haven't eaten at the Modern (Bar or otherwise) and thus can not make a direct comparison, I do not share your impression that the four course London Bar dinner was insufficient to make a meal. I found my dinner there to be a reasonable value in terms of the food quality and quantity even if it did not blow me away or make me itch to return there. My biggest issues when I was there were service oriented. I remain curious to try GR, though I am not overly impatient for my opportunity.

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

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Ramsay has got to be crossing his fingers now for three stars from the Times. If Bruni files what amounts to a combined review for the Bar Room and the main Dining Room—as he originally did, for instance, at The Modern—I think Ramsay could be in big trouble.

you may be right, but you must remember two things:

1. Ramsay is very persistent: he will never give up until he achieves his goal

2. He has secret weapon. Obviously very little can be disclosed at this stage, but he will soon secure the services of America's most popular Englishman as his Maitre d. 4 stars will follow, as night follows day.

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Ramsay has got to be crossing his fingers now for three stars from the Times. If Bruni files what amounts to a combined review for the Bar Room and the main Dining Room—as he originally did, for instance, at The Modern—I think Ramsay could be in big trouble.

you may be right, but you must remember two things:

1. Ramsay is very persistent: he will never give up until he achieves his goal

2. He has secret weapon. Obviously very little can be disclosed at this stage, but he will soon secure the services of America's most popular Englishman as his Maitre d. 4 stars will follow, as night follows day.

Rowen Atkinson will be his maitre'd? :cool:

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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Rowen Atkinson will be his maitre'd?  :cool:

close doc, but no cigar

Bummer! :biggrin:

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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Woa!  Two stars (**) by Bruni.  This spells big time trouble for Ramsay at the London.

Maybe not. Bruni noted a high percentage of British visitors—the kind of folks who neither know nor care what the Times reviewer had to say. I think it will be more important now for Ramsay to wow the Michelin inspectors.

For me, the big unanswered question is how GR at the London compares to GR at Royal Hospital Road. I don't think we've had a post yet from anyone who's dined at both.

The track record after NYT smackdowns is mixed. It's not always the kiss of death. Some restaurants make radical changes; others keep doing their thing, and survive. It just goes to show that the Times is merely one data point. The problem for GR is that none of the mainstream media reviews have been good. Enough of those, and at some point it has to hurt.

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I haven't made it down there yet, however it strikes me that chefs in Ramsay's category -- a category he may only share with Ducasse -- go about opening their signature fine dining restaurants according to the exact formula that most frustrates and confuses American restaurant critics. They start with basics and build on them. They don't start by trying to achieve the wow factor. They try to get the fundamental contemporary haute cuisine dishes in excellent working order, and then they unleash the creativity. They grow into their restaurants. And they don't quite understand the culture here, where wow openings are so highly valued. They think along much longer, Continental time lines.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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That being said, I think the Continental model of a restaurant opening is not the one most likely to be successful hare. What the chefs from over there need to learn to do over here is lower their standards: accept more technical errors at opening, so as to be able to support more complex, exciting food. Swallow their technical pride in order to get the PR bang.

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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I haven't made it down there yet, however it strikes me that chefs in Ramsay's category -- a category he may only share with Ducasse -- go about opening their signature fine dining restaurants according to the exact formula that most frustrates and confuses American restaurant critics. They start with basics and build on them. They don't start by trying to achieve the wow factor. They try to get the fundamental contemporary haute cuisine dishes in excellent working order, and then they unleash the creativity. They grow into their restaurants. And they don't quite understand the culture here, where wow openings are so highly valued. They think along much longer, Continental time lines.

If this is correct, then the NYT reviewing system is very poorly suited to tracking the evolution of the restaurant. Critics expect to find a fully-formed establishment as soon as it opens, and it's tough to score a re-review, even if things change rather dramatically. The Michelin system, with its annual check-ups, seems better suited to tracking these incremental changes. (Yes, yes, I know there's an allegation that the Michelin inspectors don't really re-visit as often as they'd like you to believe.)
I think that's exactly right.

And RGR will be entitled to a re-review in a year or so if the menu has substantially grown (I'm not talking about size).

The precedents here are scanty. Bruni has re-reviewed himself only once. It took two years and a new chef for that to happen (Eleven Madison Park). This, of course, presumes that Ramsay has any intention of making the kind of broad Bruni-pleasing changes you are talking about.

How much thought leadership does Ramsay have in this restaurant? He is operating many more restaurants than Ducasse, and he has a lot of extra-curricular activities that Ducasse does not.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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