In today’s New York Times, restaurant critic Pete Wells knocked iconic Upper East Side restaurant Daniel from four stars to three after finding that servers treated famous guests differently than unknown ones.
The food, he noted, was still phenomenal — if somewhat overdecorated with “dollhouse garnishes.”
With Daniel Boulud’s emporium down to three stars, there are just five restaurants left in New York City with four-star reviews from The New York Times.
- Del Posto: Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich’s upscale Italian restaurant near the High Line got four stars from Sam Sifton in October 2010. He declared: “Del Posto’s is a pleasure that lasts.” The five-course dinner menu is $115 per person.
- Eleven Madison Park: Critic Frank Bruni granted four stars to Eleven Madison Park in August 2009. Restaurateur Danny Meyer sold the restaurant to chef Daniel Humm in 2011, and the Times has yet to revisit. The dinner tasting menu is $195 per person.
- Jean Georges: Bruni visited Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s eponymous restaurant in 2006 and found it to be a notch above any of the other restaurants in Vongerichten’s empire, writing, “while the food at Jean Georges may no longer be novel, it still thrills, and this restaurant still presents an experience unlike others around town.” The three-course dinner tasting menu is $118 per person.
- Le Bernardin: In May 2012, Wells assigned four stars to Eric Ripert’s midtown east restaurant, writing, “no other restaurant in the city makes the simple cooking of fish (and the fish at Le Bernardin is cooked simply, when it is cooked at all) seem so ripe with opportunities for excitement.” The four-course dinner tasting menu costs $130 per person.
- Per Se: Wells gave a top rating to chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant at the Time Warner centre in October 2011, calling it “the best restaurant in New York City.” The prix fixe dinner menu costs $295 per person.
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