This week's installment of Opinionated About Dining comes in two parts. Beginning this week, and continuing every other Wednesday, Opinionated About Dining will publish a summary of the raves and pans that our members reported on during the prior two-week period (as decided by yours truly). There will be no editorializing by OA management, just dishes they felt strongly about one way or the other, and how the members described them. I've also included an overall comment about the meal, and I've posted photos when they were available. This week's installment covers restaurants that members reviewed in the two-week period ending April 10, 2005. Also starting today, and continuing every other Wednesday, I will write an opinion piece on what is happening in the world of dining or wine. This week's piece focuses on how the Manhattan restaurants L'Impero and Tabla, handled service issues which came up at two recent meals. Each restaurant is being sent a copy of the article, and they will each have the opportunity to post a response in next Wednesday's edition of OAD. Also, if any of our readers have recent stories to share about services issues at restaurants, feel free to send them to me by email. I am going to try and post them in a "letters to the editor" format along with the responses from the restaurants if they decide to post them.
Member Raves and Pans - Per Se, Mas, Devi, Kabab Cafe, Katz's Delicatessen, Fiore's, Jean-Robert's at Pigalle, Slanted Door, Tartare, Urasawa, The Hump, Hibiscus, The Plough, Anthony's of Leeds, Pierre Gagnaire, Guy Savoy, Troisgros, Alle Testiere, Fiaschetteria Toscana
Anthony's of Leeds Red Mullet, Fried Chicken Skin, Enoki Mushrooms, Langoustines and an Almond Creme Caramel; Rib Eye of Beef, Seared then Cooked in a 55 degree Low Oven since 11.30 that morning, with a Skewer of Baby Octupus on Pomme with Cubes of Braised Oxtail
Urasawa's Fugu Liver first wrapped in Shiso then the whole wrapped in Fugu Sashimi topped with 24 carat Gold Leaf, Chrysanthemum Petals; Steamed dish of Cherry blossom, Red Snapper and Shrimp with Ankake Sauce
Michel Troisgros's "“Foie Gras aux Truffe”, Foie Gras layer at the bottom and an intense Black Truffle layer on top, garnished with a thin round of fresh Black Truffle; Breast of Canette de Challans Laquée, Aigre-Doux de Mangue/Fenouil, Pommes Soufflés
Opinion: Restaurants Are a Service Business, Some Restaurants Know It, Others Don't
When you eat out a lot, you are bound to run into less than perfect dining experiences. Most of the time, issues with dining have to do with the level of execution in the kitchen, but sometimes service issues put a damper on your meal. What really sets restaurants apart is how they handle these situations. Some restaurants have trained their staffs properly, and as a result, they manage to turn a situation with the potential for disaster into one that satisfies the customer. But some restaurants are less customer-friendly. In my experience, when something goes wrong in one of those restaurants, you can be sure that the staff will do everything they can to turn an incipient disaster into an actual one. Here are two stories of what happened to me within a ten-day period while dining out in Manhattan.
Coming April 20 Steve P's reviews of Per Se, Craft, Annisa. Mosaico, Tuscan Steak, Nobu South Beach and more; April 27, member raves and pans of Lumiere, Michiaki, Zuma, Lampreia, Christopher's, Locando Locatelli, Can Peio, L'Avant Gout and more.