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Le Bernardin Ultimately a Disappointment

Interesting thread. I have not been to LB, so cannot comment, but if you go to a Michellin three star establishment, no-one should ever be made to feel rushed, period. That blanket approach should extend to, but not be exclusive to tasting menus, which obviously tend to take longer. Personally, I would probably be cautious when booking at a one/two star/other, and would likely ask about table turnovers when booking an earlier slot (indeed, this is what I did when last booking at GR @ The London, and selected a timeslot where a table turn was unlikely, but the receptionist was clear there and then that a 6/6.30 slot may be needed for a 9pm table). If I was made to feel rushed at a 3 star, then perhaps I wouldnt wish to destroy my evening further by complaining there and then, but complain I certainly would at a subsequent stage, and I would probably never return; there is enough choice out there in NYC to apportion your preferences to those establishments that get things right consistently, rather than 90% of the time.

May 03, 2009
humblepie in Manhattan

Shake Shack, first vist, won't be the last

We went to lots of places to eat (e.g. GT, the London) in NYC over Christmas, but our visit to Shake Shack was also memorable. My wife had a Shroom Burger and swears it is the best 'burger' she has ever had. I guess the Shack inches BJ through it's variety as well as anything (e.g. Shroom Burger etc), but if you're not getting to go and you end up sat downstairs @ UWS, you do feel like you're in a badly lit McDs...

Apr 26, 2009
humblepie in Manhattan

Terrible French Laundry Visit 2/18/09

I have never been to FL (but have been to 2/3 star places elsewhere), and would love to go one day, but it seems that FL posts on CH do tend to flag up issues arguably on a more regular basis than other restaurants at that level - perhaps more an indication of how much passion everyone has for the place than volume of problems?

As far as my opinion on the issues raised and following discussion, I think it is hard to pre-plan a judgement call on speaking to management during the evening. I do not like 'having' to complain in such a situation, as IMHO, once you go down that route, you are changing in your own mind your enjoyment level of the evening and this will leave a horrible taste in your mouth (no pun intended), although this obviously will be traded off against the fact that there was no immediate resolution either - essentially you lose 'something' either way, although giving the establishment the opportunity to redeem themselves obviously brings some recompense, but if you care about your choice of restaurant, you then are likely to spend time and stress wondering how your complaint will be dealt with.

In terms of the issues described, if I was in a 3 michelin star establishment and clients at an adjoining table were obviously disturbing myself and other clients, I would 100% expect that to be noticed and dealt with by the staff. Three stars is about the package, not just the food, and I think it is unfair to the OP to argue that a little alcohol fuelled exuberance is the same situation as wholesale overt drunkeness. Things obviously dont always run smoothly (even with 3 *), but the dining room must be monitored and the diners experience buffered along the way to minimise problems.

Can I ask the question no one else has yet - did you get a reply from FL and did they say?

Which Gordon Ramsay (London)?

Personally, I would say go for Marcus Wareing if you cannot get a table at RHR - MW is still very much pushing for three stars and we had a fantastic meal there last year, although I am uncertain as to the current booking policy (there was no time limit on reservations when we visited, thus you could end up booking 3-4 months in advance in order to get a table on the day you want). Although I am not speaking from personal experience, the newly two-starred Alain Ducasse (@ The Dorchester) and Joel Robouchon's London L'Atelier do not appear to be living up to the hype, but that could just be down to the vagaries of the food press......Nearer to the Fat Duck than to London, there is a great one star place in Reading - L'Ortolan, that is well worth a visit.

Feb 23, 2009
humblepie in U.K./Ireland

Which Gordon Ramsay (London)?

Whilst I do still rate RHR highly in terms of the whole experience, we were blown away by Petrus, shortly before the transition to MW @ the Berkeley - I found Wareing's style to be quite light, and ideal for a tasting menu experience, especially given the heroic bon-bon trolley to accompany coffees! Will he manage three stars eventually......?

Feb 23, 2009
humblepie in U.K./Ireland

Which Gordon Ramsay (London)?

I have to second RHR; it is a couple of years since we went wth some friends, but it remains the most outrageous dining experience I have had to date in terms of food, wine and service, and I have been to quite a few decent restaurants since. I would agree that Ramsay does have more than his fair share of detractors, certainly at the moment, but the reality is that RHR is where it all started, and is still top of the tree in London after ten years. We were made to feel beyond welcome from the second we walked in the door until we finally staggered out of the doors (in the wee hours). The focus here is on the 'experience', and once you get past the £100 + per head on food, it is an experience most are unlkely to forget. I would go for it!!

Feb 22, 2009
humblepie in U.K./Ireland

Gordon Ramsay Alternates

I'm off to the formal dining room @ The London next weekend and can't wait!! I must agree with some of the previous posts that GR seems to be less discussed on CH than other fine-dining 'name' restaurants.......then again, I guess places like Balthazar are an NY institution, GR has only been open a couple of years, and it looks like Per Se is in a class of it's own in terms of CH feedback (two Michelin stars vs. three)?

Dec 11, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Katz's: beyond the pastrami

Thanks for the tipping info. We Brits are still a bit strange in our tipping habits, where tips left can vary between 0-10+%. Usually in a more casual place, 10% would be seen to be generous in the UK...........I guess the table service/counter service distinction for deciding on tipping makes sense for Katz's. I think I slipped up in Trattoria dell' Arte a few years ago when we were in a rush to get to Carnegie Hall and I went low on the tip when adding it to the check by mistake........but TDA seemed to have some clientele in that evening who were 'there to be seen' rather than eat, and we felt a bit uncomfortable really.....the staff were really nice though.

Dec 10, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Katz's: beyond the pastrami

For those of us over the water where tipping isnt such a way of life (heading to NYC in a week's time though!); sure you tip the guys on the counter, but would you normally then tip the cashier (i.e. go 15-20% of the whole check) on top? Can't wait to try the pastrami at Katz's!

Dec 09, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Katz's

Thanks thew, sounds like the counter is the place to head for! I'm not in town for a few weeks yet, but Katz's is definitely going on the list.......

Nov 28, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Katz's

One more Q on Katz's guys.........................................I read that most of you seem to recommend going up to the counter, but if you chicken out (no joke intended) and head for table service instead, do you still take a ticket on the way in?

Nov 27, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern for lunch?

Thanks guys; any thoughts on Lunch tasting menu vs. al a carte? Is the tasting menu comparatively light in terms of portion size (as all good tasting menus arguably should be)?

Nov 10, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern for lunch?

Many thanks - I probably wouldn't wear jeans myself, but I was curious as to whether others frequently do. That said, I was at Gordon Ramsay's Royal Hospital Road restaurant in London for dinner last year, and noticed at least one customer wearing jeans!!!!! I think I may have been more shocked than the maitre d, as the guy had no problems getting in...................

Nov 06, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern for lunch?

Hi all, I will be in NYC during Christmas week and was wondering what the dress code is like in the Gramercy Tavern Dining Room, say on a weekday (albeit Christmas week) lunchime. Is it a jacket and shirt recomended (rather than actually required) from those who have been before? We are going to GR @ the London Sun night, but I wasn't sure if I should get my suit on again for lunch at the GT in order to feel a bit more at ease? Are jeans worn frequently to lunch at GT?

Nov 05, 2008
humblepie in Manhattan