Declaring War on The New York Times
I arrived at “21” a few minutes early and confirmed my reservation. Sheraton arrived and we were led upstairs to our table where one of the owners and the head chef greeted us.
So much for incognito, but hey, the folks at “21” took very good care of us!
The Kobe Club Kerfuffle
One of the three open letters in the Times last Wednesday was from Jeffrey Chodorow, a restaurant entrepreneur, who late last year opened an upmarket Japanese steak house on West 58th Street in Manhattan, Kobe Club.
One critic likened the décor to something out of the Marquis de Sade—stark black everywhere—walls, tables, booths and waitpersons’ uniforms, with occasional touches of brown.
I would call it Damoclean, because 1,865 Samurai swords hang points down, over the diners’ heads. “Watch them quiver when you try to leave without paying,” wrote Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton.
Did I call it “upmarket?” It is up-up-upmarket. Entrées can run into the hundreds. An 8-oz. Japanese wagyu filet mignon is $160 while a 28-oz. Australian wagyu porterhouse for two goes for $390. Too rich for your blood? Have the $35 extra large shrimp with garlic, lemon and butter or the mustard-rubbed organic chicken for $32.
On February 7, Frank Bruni, the restaurant critic of The New York Times, unloaded on Kobe Club with a 1,137-word review. Among Bruni’s beefs:
But more of the food was disappointing, sometimes even infuriating, be it a rubbery roasted pork chop, perhaps left too long in its brine; limp iceberg lettuce, propped up insufficiently by blue cheese; those mashed potatoes, gluey; or a crème brûlée in dire need of a crunchier hood.
And some of the food was alarming. A clam in an underwhelming cold seafood platter had a metallic tang, while an American strip loin had a sourness that didn’t taste like aging or, for that matter, like anything anyone intended.
- New York City