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Gordon Ramsay at the London


johnder
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I'm not going to directly agree or disagree with Platt's rating, but he seems to exact a pretty heavy rating penalty for the lack of an "ineffable sense of place." Nevertheless, Platt and Bruni often agree, and seldom disagree by more than 1 star. It suggests a 3-star maximum from Bruni, with 2 stars a very realistic possibility.

I think two is pretty much on point..

As I've said on the Bruni & Beyond thread, modern restaurant criticism tends to be biased against restaurants that do the classic things well. If you take Platt's review on its own terms (i.e., assuming everything he says to be correct), and remove the effects of this bias, GR probably deserves three stars on Platt's 5-star scale. But because Bruni has the same bias (and indeed, probably has it worse), it is quite likely that Bruni will match Platt at 2 stars, and 1 star wouldn't surprise me.

Platt, it must be noted, does not find the particular service glitches Daniel reported, which is not to suggest Daniel's experience isn't valid, but only to suggest that it doesn't happen to everybody. (It also didn't happen to me, FWIW.)

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I'm not going to directly agree or disagree with Platt's rating, but he seems to exact a pretty heavy rating penalty for the lack of an "ineffable sense of place." Nevertheless, Platt and Bruni often agree, and seldom disagree by more than 1 star. It suggests a 3-star maximum from Bruni, with 2 stars a very realistic possibility.

I think two is pretty much on point..

As I've said on the Bruni & Beyond thread, modern restaurant criticism tends to be biased against restaurants that do the classic things well. If you take Platt's review on its own terms (i.e., assuming everything he says to be correct), and remove the effects of this bias, GR probably deserves three stars on Platt's 5-star scale. But because Bruni has the same bias (and indeed, probably has it worse), it is quite likely that Bruni will match Platt at 2 stars, and 1 star wouldn't surprise me.

Platt, it must be noted, does not find the particular service glitches Daniel reported, which is not to suggest Daniel's experience isn't valid, but only to suggest that it doesn't happen to everybody. (It also didn't happen to me, FWIW.)

one star? no way. I'd bet on three. and four is more likely than one.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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a quote from Platt's summary at the end:

" you have a taste for bracing whiskey cocktails, take note of Ramsay’s signature drink, the Diablo"

this ticks me off on two levels.

The Diablo, of course, has been around for many years...back when Ramsay was in diapers, if not before.

a.  it's disturbing because it only evinces a growing trend that I've been noticing -- restaurants and bars passing off classic cocktails as "signature" or "house-created"....at least they didn't change the name the way many restaurants or bars do!

b.  that a professional reviewer would be ignorant of this.  (if he doesn't mention cocktails then he doesn't have to know anything about them....but if he does then he should)

I'm not a bartender - but I think this may be a bum rap all around. I did a quick google of Diablo. The classic one seems to be made with brandy - the newer version with tequila. The "Ramsay" Diablo is made with scotch (at least that's what the review says). I think he's from Scotland - and that's why his Diablo contains scotch. Robyn

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actually,

the classic "Diabolo" is made with brandy.

the classic "Diablo" (which dates to at least the 40's) is made with tequila.

The Ramsay cocktail is not either but bears a very close resemblance to the "Diablo".

If they referred to it as a "whiskey diablo" or a "Ramsay Diablo" I wouldn't have a problem. instead they both claimed a classic as there own and altered it while still purporting it under the classic name.

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actually,

the classic "Diabolo" is made with brandy.

the classic "Diablo" (which dates to at least the 40's) is made with tequila.

The Ramsay cocktail is not either but bears a very close resemblance to the "Diablo".

If they referred to it as a "whiskey diablo" or a "Ramsay Diablo" I wouldn't have a problem.  instead they both claimed a classic as there own and altered it while still purporting it under the classic name.

This the bar menu at the London. It's called a Diablo Gordon Ramsay on the menu.

And at least one cocktail web site seems to think that both versions of the original are spelled "Diablo". Of course - the guy who writes that web site seems to be in Canada - and perhaps his English isn't so great :smile: . Robyn

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"It's called a Diablo Gordon Ramsay on the menu."

well, that's fine then.

as for the guy you googled: he's simply wrong.

edit: I should know...I made the exact same mistake myself.

edit: read through the comments on the link you posted. his error was pointed out and he corrects himself....always read the link!

Edited by Nathan (log)
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I could have misinterpreted, but I assumed he meant that GR has only one restaurant in "England" with 3 Michelin stars.

More telling, to me, was the cheeseburger comment.

That was regarding the food at the bar.

This bar - as well as others - are suposed to be like tapas restaurants. Tapas is the stuff people nibble on in Spain during our normal dinner hours because their dinner hour is so ridiculously late. It's "little plates" to tide you over until dinner (although in my case - I frequently made a meal of tapas in Spain because I didn't feel like eating dinner at 11).

Since we can eat dinner at a normal time in a restaurant in the US - there is no reason to go to a "tapas bar" unless you've had a large lunch - or aren't all that hungry for some other reason - and spend a relatively large amount of money for a relatively small amount of food (assuming you're worrying about spending money or having too little to eat).

One other thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these places are very trendy - and the cost of the drinks and the food is basically a "rental charge" for the "real estate" (your seat). It's like going to a cafe in Paris and paying a bunch for a cup of coffee (you're paying for the rent - not for the coffee).

Anyway - I thought the most important aspect of this part of the review is that the reviewer thought the food was good ---> very good. Robyn

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You can buy/import stuff like epoisses - it just has to be "aged" 90 days (? about the exact time) or more.  Not bad - but not as good as "unaged" IMO.  Robyn

Yes, I occasionally can get epoisse (Berthaut) here in Kansas City, so I'm sure that restaurants, like GR can certainly get it in NY - although you're right in noting that they'd (legally) have to have been aged more 60 days.

Another cheese that I always enjoy, but can never find state-side is Vacherin Mont d'Or. Might anyone know if GRNYC or any other high-end establishements has that on their cheese carts?

u.e.

It's on the cheese cart at Daniel. Had it there a few weeks ago. Delicious.

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Admin: Threads merged.

So why is everyone having a go at Gordon?

Is it because he is an english chef having a go in New York?

Is it because critics are using him as a way to make a name for themselves?

Is it because the American public believe he is just a celebrity chef because of Hells Kitchen ?When in fact, he has busted balls in alot of the best kitchens in England and France over the years?

Or is it because the food and service really is not that good?

Gordon obviously spent many years aiming to and achieving 3 michelin stars, as has all of europe and then New York comes in to the equation and has 3 or 4 restaurants awarded 3 michelin stars, now does this devalue the guide in New york?

I would go with the first three, it ll be intresting to see what you Americans HONESTLY think?

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It's ridiculous to think that New York restaurant critics are using Gordon Ramsay to make a name for themselves. I also think it's ridiculous to suggest that New York critics don't know who Ramsay is beyond his television shows.

Not having eaten there but only having read the reviews, I think Ramsay is running into two problems. First, his cuisine seems to be pretty traditional and non-innovative, which, as oakapple has pointed out, doesn't get you points from New York critics these days. Second, I think he opened just as people were beginning to get sick of the idea of all these satellite/import restaurants.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Ramsay came to New York with very high expectations. I can't find any precise quote where he's said this... But I've no doubt that, in his mind, he was opening a NYT 4-star, Michelin 3-star restaurant.

There are currently five restaurants carrying 4 stars from the Times. At every one of them, the principal chef spends more time in the kitchen than Ramsay spends, or is intending to spend, at GR. That's not to say all of them are full-time. We all know about Vongerichten's huge empire, but no one doubts that the restaurant Jean Georges is his main baby. Keller doesn't spend as much time at Per Se as at TFL, but his empire is smaller, and he isn't doing a TV show on the side.

With Ramsay, there's a sense that this guy has too much going on to really create anything "special" here. And for a restaurant with four-star aspirations, people want it to be special. When you wear your ego on your sleeves, the critics' knives are going to be out. We all know what happened to Alain Ducasse, and Ducasse came here with a better restaurant than GR.

Lastly, as SE mentioned above, there is a built-in critical bias against places that just replicate an existing standard, no matter how good a job they do. Based on my own meal there, I think GR is doing a very good job at it, but when there's no "Wow!" in the concept, the margin for error is very low indeed.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I'm not sure what you mean by "all the negative publicity"...he's certainly not faced the negativity that Ducasse at first received.

Bruni hasn't weighed in yet and he's the only critic that counts (he's not by any means the best critic -- that's Richman -- but he's the only critic that has make-or-break-a-restaurant influence).

I haven't eaten in GR proper -- although I intend to if I can ever get a reservation but from what I've seen and heard...he's probably on track for three stars.

I have eaten at the London Bar (roughly equivalent to Maze)...it was fine, even very good in places, but we have comparable restaurants that are a bit better. But it's still pretty good.

but I'm curious as to what negativity you are describing? Platt is not important and his is the only professional review that I've seen.

edit: I can assure you that Ramsay is not important enough in the NY food world for a critic to "make a name for himself" by savaging him. About the only thing that would cause major waves would be giving Per Se two stars.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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I'm not sure what you mean by "all the negative publicity"...he's certainly not faced the negativity that Ducasse at first received.
Although Bruni has not yet reviewed the place, quite a few in the second tier have reviewed it. Even Ruth Reichl wrote a blog post about GR, and she wasn't wowed. Bruni himself blogged about it twice. All he wrote about was the reservations line, but it wasn't positive.
Bruni hasn't weighed in yet and he's the only critic that counts (he's not by any means the best critic -- that's Richman -- but he's the only critic that has make-or-break-a-restaurant influence).
My sense is that Bruni counts more than all the others, but his review isn't make-or-break, as it was in the old days. People no longer view the Times critic as the chief arbiter of public taste in these matters. That's partly because of the current occupant, but mostly because there are just so many more information sources that diners rely on.
edit: I can assure you that Ramsay is not important enough in the NY food world for a critic to "make a name for himself" by savaging him.  About the only thing that would cause major waves would be giving Per Se two stars.

Actually, I don't think any critic but Bruni can "make news" with a review—regardless of what he says, or the number of stars awarded.

And the only way Bruni can make real news is if he awards four stars. That's one reason why I am sure Bruni is itching for a candidate. Any new member to the Times four-star club is always news. Smackdown reviews are not news, outside the handful of us that follow the Inside Baseball of restaurants. If Ramsay gets two, it'll just be another carcass on the heap of failed aspirations.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I'm not sure what you mean by "all the negative publicity"...he's certainly not faced the negativity that Ducasse at first received.

Bruni hasn't weighed in yet and he's the only critic that counts (he's not by any means the best critic -- that's Richman -- but he's the only critic that has make-or-break-a-restaurant influence).

I haven't eaten in GR proper -- although I intend to if I can ever get a reservation but from what I've seen and heard...he's probably on track for three stars.

I have eaten at the London Bar (roughly equivalent to Maze)...it was fine, even very good in places, but we have comparable restaurants that are a bit better.  But it's still pretty good.

but I'm curious as to what negativity you are describing?  Platt is not important and his is the only professional review that I've seen.

What i  mean by all the negative publicity is every man women and there dog who have something to say abouit the place, i m not talking about critics, but people on various internet sites, they all have bad things to say like "the weight of the toilet door ruined my meal" is a bit ridiculous

edit: I can assure you that Ramsay is not important enough in the NY food world for a critic to "make a name for himself" by savaging him.  About the only thing that would cause major waves would be giving Per Se two stars.

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Ramsay came to New York with very high expectations. I can't find any precise quote where he's said this... But I've no doubt that, in his mind, he was opening a NYT 4-star, Michelin 3-star restaurant.

There are currently five restaurants carrying 4 stars from the Times. At every one of them, the principal chef spends more time in the kitchen than Ramsay spends, or is intending to spend, at GR. That's not to say all of them are full-time. We all know about Vongerichten's huge empire, but no one doubts that the restaurant Jean Georges is his main baby. Keller doesn't spend as much time at Per Se as at TFL, but his empire is smaller, and he isn't doing a TV show on the side.

With Ramsay, there's a sense that this guy has too much going on to really create anything "special" here. And for a restaurant with four-star aspirations, people want it to be special. When you wear your ego on your sleeves, the critics' knives are going to be out. We all know what happened to Alain Ducasse, and Ducasse came here with a better restaurant than GR.

Lastly, as SE mentioned above, there is a built-in critical bias against places that just replicate an existing standard, no matter how good a job they do. Based on my own meal there, I think GR is doing a very good job at it, but when there's no "Wow!" in the concept, the margin for error is very low indeed.

GR should have opened in Las Vegas. I swear - if Robuchon had opened a high end French restaurant in New York - his reputation would be in tatters.

I've eaten in 3 of the 4 restaurants in New York that have/had 3 Michelin stars: Alain Ducasse; Per Se and Jean Georges. All in different years. The "star chefs" were not in the kitchens when I dined at them. Of the 3 - I would rank them in the order stated in terms of what I thought of the meal - with Jean Georges a distant third. I've also dined at RHR (3 Michelin stars) - and Angela Hartnett at the Connaught (1 Michelin star but another GR restaurant). GR was not in the kitchen when I was at RHR - but Angela Hartnett was. My meal at RHR was better than any I've ever had in New York - or - indeed - the United States. The meal at the Connaught was better than Jean Georges - not as good as Alain Ducasse or Per Se.

So if the London is anywhere as good as RHR - then the food is really good. And if someone - like a restaurant critic - doesn't like contemporary French food - then why doesn't he/she just say so? And pass on anything resembling an objective review? We all know Frank Bruni likes to take away at least one star for anything French and likes to add at least one star for anything Italian. BTW - I ate at Babbo too when Batali wasn't in the kitchen - and I was one of the first people here to say that the food was (overall) mediocre.

BTW - could you please explain to me what you mean when you say "wow in the concept". I have no idea what that means. Robyn

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It's more than just Bruni. It's ingrained in current New York foodie/restaurant culture. You see it here. The way people say that time has simply passed a place like Chanterelle by. The way FG said that if JG (the restaurant, not the man) doesn't keep developing, but simply keeps on doing what it does at the same level of accomplishment, it will necessarily lose its fourth star. The "wow" factor means that there's something about the food that you haven't seen before. I don't know if I agree that that's a valid criterion for being considered one of the very top restaurants (or, rather, that it's valid that that's the primary criterion). But it there it is.

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BTW - could you please explain to me what you mean when you say "wow in the concept".  I have no idea what that means.  Robyn

Oakapple can certainly speak for himself, but not being able to resist throwing my own $0.02 in, is that while everything is very competently imagined and produced, there really isn't anything to make one go "WOW!" At the end of the night it is another nice meal, though not necessarily particularly memorable. That was at least how I felt about my meal at The London Bar (other than the company that is :wink: ).

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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SE and Doc pretty much explained what I meant by "Wow!"

Among the Michelin 3-star restaurants that I've visited, I rank them about the same as Robin: Ducasse the best, then Per Se, then Jean Georges. Right now, I put GR in approximately the Jean Georges class. Maybe it is slightly behind JG, but only slightly.

That comes with the caveat that I've been to most of those restaurants just once, except for Per Se, which I've visited twice. There can be sampling error with such a small data set.

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Wow. I'd go in exact reverse of yours and Robyn's appraisals (that is, JG, then Ducasse, then Per Se, with Ramsay's RHR resto a distant fourth). OTOH, the impression that I get from my meals was that Ducasse was at the top of its game when I dined there, and Per Se at its nadir.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Ramsay came to New York with very high expectations. I can't find any precise quote where he's said this... But I've no doubt that, in his mind, he was opening a NYT 4-star, Michelin 3-star restaurant.

There are currently five restaurants carrying 4 stars from the Times. At every one of them, the principal chef spends more time in the kitchen than Ramsay spends, or is intending to spend, at GR. That's not to say all of them are full-time. We all know about Vongerichten's huge empire, but no one doubts that the restaurant Jean Georges is his main baby. Keller doesn't spend as much time at Per Se as at TFL, but his empire is smaller, and he isn't doing a TV show on the side.

With Ramsay, there's a sense that this guy has too much going on to really create anything "special" here. And for a restaurant with four-star aspirations, people want it to be special. When you wear your ego on your sleeves, the critics' knives are going to be out. We all know what happened to Alain Ducasse, and Ducasse came here with a better restaurant than GR.

Lastly, as SE mentioned above, there is a built-in critical bias against places that just replicate an existing standard, no matter how good a job they do. Based on my own meal there, I think GR is doing a very good job at it, but when there's no "Wow!" in the concept, the margin for error is very low indeed.

GR should have opened in Las Vegas. I swear - if Robuchon had opened a high end French restaurant in New York - his reputation would be in tatters.

I've eaten in 3 of the 4 restaurants in New York that have/had 3 Michelin stars: Alain Ducasse; Per Se and Jean Georges. All in different years. The "star chefs" were not in the kitchens when I dined at them. Of the 3 - I would rank them in the order stated in terms of what I thought of the meal - with Jean Georges a distant third. I've also dined at RHR (3 Michelin stars) - and Angela Hartnett at the Connaught (1 Michelin star but another GR restaurant). GR was not in the kitchen when I was at RHR - but Angela Hartnett was. My meal at RHR was better than any I've ever had in New York - or - indeed - the United States. The meal at the Connaught was better than Jean Georges - not as good as Alain Ducasse or Per Se.

So if the London is anywhere as good as RHR - then the food is really good. And if someone - like a restaurant critic - doesn't like contemporary French food - then why doesn't he/she just say so? And pass on anything resembling an objective review? We all know Frank Bruni likes to take away at least one star for anything French and likes to add at least one star for anything Italian. BTW - I ate at Babbo too when Batali wasn't in the kitchen - and I was one of the first people here to say that the food was (overall) mediocre.

BTW - could you please explain to me what you mean when you say "wow in the concept". I have no idea what that means. Robyn

I m not so sure anybody could tell wether the chef is there or not if there having a blind meal, you could maybe make a guess and maybe get lucke but thats about at, but saying that i know its nice to have the chef there and its obviously there concept, but for example the London, Neil Ferguson has worked for Gordon for over ten years!! Do people really think he would send something out of the kitchen that Gordon wouldnt??

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