Three Michelin Stars for EMP and Brooklyn Fare
Oct 4th, 2011 by donuts4dinner

According to The New York Times, my good friends at Eleven Madison Park are about to get themselves three Michelin stars, up from one in last year’s guide.

This means NYC is about to have seven restaurants with three Michelin stars:

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Eleven Madison Park
Jean Georges
Le Bernardin
Per Se

Crazy, right? What a wonderful time to live here. Although that means the Brooklyn Fare reservation my boyfriend and I failed to get when we tried once earlier this year is going to be even harder to come by now.

Eleven Madison Park DSC_0867 copyone of the super-fine amuse bouches at EMP

If you’re interested in my take on the 3-star restaurants we’ve visited, here are my much-photoed reviews of each:

Eleven Madison Park: our first, not-bad-but-not-amazing visit

Eleven Madison Park: our second, mind-blowing visit

Per Se: so long-awaited it couldn’t have been anything but incredible (and we’re going back this weekend!)

Daniel: changed the way I thought about fine dining forever

• Jean Georges: so so-so that I never even bothered to write about it (but would love to hear why other people love it so)

Foodblog Soapbox
Sep 28th, 2011 by donuts4dinner

I love this article by food writer Josh Ozersky, which I read over at EaterNY, entitled “Attn: New York Times: How to Redeem Restaurant Criticism”:

Food writing can be tough, but it’s a breeze next to restaurant reviewing. How many ways are there to say something is delicious? And how many ways can you say a steak is tender or tough? Critics don’t want to strive over such tedious tasks; they’d rather speak to the spirit of the age, make funny asides about the crowd, and position themselves as social observers with a keen and far-seeing eye. That’s why over the past few years many have used their columns to pen wry, H.L. Mencken–esque drolleries that serve nobody but their own egos. Let’s make no mistake here: the restaurant review is a service feature. Its purpose is to tell people whether they should or should not go to a place to eat there. A broad aside about the room is fine, but food is the main product a restaurant sells; that’s what the critic should be focusing on. (Service matters too, but critics rarely get to really experience it the way civilians do.) In my opinion, having fought the urge so often myself, a restaurant critic should take no cheap shots, keep his opinion of hipsters and snobs strictly to himself and stick to talking about the food. He or she needs to order a lot of things and write about all of them. Period.

Of course it’s fun for me to call out obvious prostitutes in my review of a restaurant, and terrible service can ruin an otherwise okay dinner for me, but HELL YEAH, Josh Ozersky. I spend a lot of time describing dishes so you don’t just have to rely on my version of what’s delicious and not, and I have no idea why anyone would want to read a food critic who doesn’t.

photo by The Daily Dish

I know that Niko and Chubby don’t like super-sweet desserts, so when they say something’s too sweet, I figure it’s just about right for me. I know that Dishy doesn’t eat much salt, so when she says one of her recipes is plenty flavorful without it, I have daydreams of myself emptying a whole canister of Morton’s on the plate. You know that I don’t like tomatoes, so when I say I actually enjoyed them in a dish, you know you’d like them even more.

If we were just saying “this restaurant is good” or “this restaurant sucks” in a one-paragraph summary with one picture of the decor, you’d know that we had very little interest in the food itself. And this ain’t L.A., people; we actually go to NYC restaurants to eat. So quit sucking, sucky food critics.

Convivio Closed!
Mar 5th, 2011 by plumpdumpling

Tucked away in the neighborhood of Tudor City, on a hill overlooking 42nd Street, Convivio was a hidden gem in Midtown East. Even as someone who’s let down by Italian food in New York City time and again, I thought Convivio deserved its Michelin star.

I passed it every day on my way to my boyfriend’s apartment after work, and coming home from a night out, we’d often stop and look at the menu posted on the stone wall outside the restaurant. Just last weekend, we talked about coming by soon to enjoy the very reasonably-priced prix-fixe.

But when we passed Convivio today, we saw this:

Convivio Closed
click to see larger

Convivio Closed
click to see larger

News sources report that both Convivio and Alto, which owner Chris Cannon held on to in his split with partner Michael White, were said to be closed due private parties and a flood, but it’s now clear that both are permanently shut down, perhaps in light of the lawsuit against Cannon.

Sad! Maybe it’s time for me to dig out my old Convivio (and before that, L’Impero) photos in memoriam.

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