2013年7月23日 星期二

號外: 紐約 Daniel 被踢出紐時四星俱樂部了


致中表示: 還.我.清.白!

Pete Wells 的最新食評,把Daniel Boulud的旗艦餐廳,紐約長久以來的Fine Dining 代表 Daniel從四星降為三星,這比他搞Guy Fieri 那篇影響重大多了,幾乎是大地震大海嘯等級的,重要性和上一次被摘星的MASA 完全不同等級,MASA是小眾、小餐廳、小心又低調的日本人經營的,而Daniel 可是法國來的紐約餐廳帝王啊!!!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/dining/reviews/restaurant-review-daniel-on-the-upper-east-side.html?_r=0

以大廚 Daniel 的江湖地位而言,我認為這可能是紐約時報食評近十多年來最重大的動作,或可比當年Ruth Reichl 把曾經如日中天的 Le Cirque 拔掉一樣震撼。哦,順道一提,Daniel 的老闆Daniel Boulud 曾是Le Cirque 全盛時期的主廚,Daniel 餐廳的現址,正是接收後來一蹶不振收掉的 Le Cirque 之後擴大改建的。歷史要重覆自己到什麼程度呢?我們拭目以待。

Daniel 上一次被評是Frank Bruni 的 2009 年食評,從開業以來,Daniel 就一直是紐時的四星(最高)餐廳。但米其林進入紐約之後,Daniel 並沒有如願拿到三星,例如我在寫這篇的時候他還是二星,但Daniel Boulud 對他的員工們打氣(或打趣)說: 沒關係,但我們是世界上最好的二星。

我當時的感覺是,食物以紐約標準而言沒有話說,服務則太過粗糙---即使同樣是以紐約的標準而言。

2009 年之後他拿到米其林三星,直到現在。幾年下來個人的經驗是好壞參半,食物雖然沒什麼創意或突,但至少味道是可以做到精采絕倫,儘管有時仍不免平庸無趣,有一回看那甜點的造型,我還以為自己走錯了餐廳。至於服務部份,則是勝負各半,有非常愉悅貼心的經驗,但也有氣到不想付小費的。

除了 Pete Wells 文章裡提的大小眼之外,Daniel 因為餐廳的規模,雇用了大量外場人員,這無可厚非,但裡面有太多經驗生嫩的菜鳥,甚至有請她再解釋一次菜時聲音會顫抖的…這讓一切變得很不專業,而且容易分心,因為你就會想,是不是因為我長得不像Giuliani 或者臉拉得不像 Sex and the City 的女主角一樣長,他們才分派這種咖來我們桌?

女友去年去的時候不幸就遇到最爛的服務,從她的哭訴裡我推測這應該是一個有跡可循的劣化過程(不像是個案),我也相信,再繼續下去,評論界會有動作(有tweet 為証)。

印象中去年底或今年初,米其林紐約指南的tweet就抱怨在Daniel受到的粗魯服務,這一次紐時的 Pete Wells 沒有變裝(據說他不像RR買了一堆假髮,根本沒在用這招的),但是請了另一組同事同時在別桌用餐,點一模一樣的tasting menu,事後他比較了兩桌受到的待遇:


One night I had a reservation 15 minutes apart from a colleague who wasn’t likely to be recognized, as I repeatedly was. We both ordered the six-course $195 tasting menu. (A three-course prix fixe dinner is $116.) Our meals were virtually identical. Our experiences were not.

The kitchen sent two amuse courses to my table. His got one. A few remaining sips of my wine, ordered by the glass, were topped off. His glass sat empty at times while he waited to be offered another.

We both ate extraordinary fried lollipops of filleted frogs’ legs on a long stick of bone, but only I was then brought a napkin-covered bowl of rosemary- and lemon-scented water for rinsing my fingers.

My servers were solicitous: Was this course, or that one, or that one, prepared to your liking? Was the pacing of the meal satisfactory? Could we interest you in a cheese course? Would you like your espresso with dessert, or after? Finally, as I neared the revolving door on East 65th Street: Can we help you find a cab tonight?

My colleague wasn’t asked any of those questions. Still, the next morning, he reported feeling very well taken care of. And a restaurant can’t be blamed for trying to impress a critic.

It can be faulted, though, for turning its best face away from the unknowns, the first-timers, the birthday splurgers, the tourists. They are precisely the people who would remember a little coddling at a place like Daniel for years.

And while a missing finger bowl won’t seriously mar anyone’s evening, missing Daniel’s cheese cart might. It is one of the finest four-wheeled vehicles in New York.

先不讚美Pete Wells 流暢誇張但不矯情的文筆了,這一招平行用餐的評論法,堪稱別出心裁,也迅速在網路上引起廣泛的討論 ,這會不會變成常例呢?大家還在觀察,但這樣一來評論的成本就更高,恐怕也只有紐約時報、WSJ 或Bloomberg 這些大報玩得起吧。

如今紐時四星俱樂部還剩下
· Per Se, Frank Bruni (first hit the list), 9/8/04; Sam Sifton 10/11/11 (most recent review) 
· Le Bernardin, Bryan Miller 3/28/1986 (first hit the list); Frank Bruni, 3/16/05 (second review); Pete Wells, 05/22/12 (most recent)
· Jean Georges, Ruth Reichl, 6/6/1997 (first hit the list); Frank Bruni, 4/19/06 (latest review)
· Eleven Madison Park; Frank Bruni, 8/12/09 (most recent)
· Del Posto: Sam Sifton, 9/28/2010
(from Eaters NYC)

以我個人的感覺,本來Jean Georges 以食物而言早該已經岌岌可危,加上他上次被評是這裡面最久遠以前的,所以現在應該要挫咧旦。但轉念一想又覺得不至於,因為他的東西只要做得不太難吃或者讓人食物中毒,以JG 的手腕(不是指做菜的)是絕不會有事的。如果我們再回頭去看上一家被降星的餐廳 MASA,也同樣是因為服務令 Sam Sifton (前任紐時首席食評)不爽才掉星的,跟這次的 Daniel 沒有什麼差別。

換言之,紐時的食評其實還滿鄉民的嘛 XD 





2 則留言:

匿名 提到...

應該是怒控,不是哭訴。
接下來要哭訴的應該是Daniel吧。他們跟麻婆豆腐莊差了快20條街,in many aspects...哼哼

becco 提到...

Daniel 的反應和之前連兩年沒拿到三星一樣:

我們是紐約最好的(紐時)三星!