Prune, NYC

March 17, 2015

After a twenty year catering career, chef Gabrielle Hamilton opened Prune fifteen years ago. It has earned a cult reputation among foodies. Joe, Linda and I met there on February 16, 2015, a really frigid evening.

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Bouley, NYC

March 10, 2015

We had not been back to Bouley after its reopening in 2008 until we returned for dinner with Blair and Karyn on February 9, 2015. Bouley, named after its chef and owner, David Bouley, has had its ups, downs, closures and moves since its 1987 opening when it was soon considered by some to be New York’s finest restaurant. It is now ranked number two in NYC (after Le Bernardin) for food by Zagat, but only has one Michelin star, unusual for what is supposed to be a franco-centric guide.

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Brushstroke, NYC 3

December 30, 2014

On December 11, 2014, I returned to Brushstroke with Blair and Karyn. As there were three of us, we asked to sit around the corner of the counter, which has less of a view of the main kitchen than the center, where we had been before, but provided a close-up view of the sashimi chef at work.

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Tuome, NYC

December 23, 2014

Tuome was opened in August, 2014, by chef Thomas Chen after three years in the kitchen of Eleven Madison Park. It has received a surprising amount of favorable commentary. Pete Wells, giving Tuome two stars in The New York Times, wrote: “He has terrific control over salt, spices, texture and contrast, weaving them together until you ask, why hasn’t anyone done this before?” Robert Sietsema wrote on Eater: “The food is shockingly excellent, and I didn’t find single dud among the dishes.”  The Village Voice awarded Tuome “The Best New Restaurant New York 2014.” with Zachary Feldman writing: “At Tuome, Thomas Chen Articulates Eloquent Culinary Sentences in Alphabet City.”

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Momofuku Ko, NYC 4

December 16, 2014

Momofuku Ko opened in 2008. In its first two years, I went three times, but had not been back for four years. The cuisine was always very good and interesting, but I was put off by surly service, loud rock music, uncomfortable stools, inadequate wine pairings, a no photo policy, no written menu and a sense of “been there; done that.”  But in late October, 2014, celebrity proprieter/chef David Chang closed Ko at its old location. It reopened a month later in a much larger space, a ten minute walk east of the Bleecker Street subway station. The initial reports were good and I was lucky to get a reservation on December 12, 2014, about two weeks after Ko reopened.

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The Simone, NYC

September 9, 2014

Tina Vaughn and her chef husband, Chip Smith, had a French restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC.  They closed it and eventually opened The Simone in November 2013 at Lexington Avenue and 82nd Street.  It is named after a Provençal wine, a favorite of their business partner, who has a house in the South of France. In early June, Pete Wells in The New York Times gave The Simone a rave review with three NYT stars. Read the rest of this entry »

élan, NYC

September 2, 2014

David and Karen Waltuck ran the legendary New York restaurant Chanterelle for thirty years, closing five years ago.  David opened  élan on July 1, 2014 in the former space of Veritas. We had enjoyed both restaurants and so were looking forward to a good meal when  Blair joined Linda and me for dinner at élan on August 11, 2014.

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