Fine dining never went away, nevertheless, “it’s back”

Daniel Boulud (Credit: Studio Scrivo)
Daniel Boulud (Credit: Studio Scrivo)

It’s back, baby! The Post’s Steve Cuozzo doesn’t mince words in a recent article when he proclaims that the concept of dining out is growing up.

In a land of “painful seating, noise like what’s inflicted on POWs to deny them sleep, and an all-around “Animal House” vibe” Cuozzo is happy he doesn’t have to take it anymore.

He notes a slew of eateries have recently opened that uphold “civilized standards of service and ambience” such as Le Coucou, Agern and Günter Seeger, while serving up “old values” with a side of “cutting-edge cuisine”.

Other things that get Cuozzo’s goat are “no-reservations policies and share plates served ‘as they’re ready’. And don’t even get him started on crowded, quick-turnaround joints.

Not to mention establishments that know how to take the reservation but not how to hold the reservation.

“The roast chicken at Barbuto is sublime, but when you arrive on time and the hostess exiles you to the bar like a Soviet apparatchik sending you to Siberia, it sorta ruins the experience,” says Brooklyn Heights resident Jordan Barowitz, the Durst Organization’s director of external affairs.

Le CouCou
Le CouCou

A return to patron comfort superseding “scene” can be experienced at the aforementioned Le CouCou, a restaurant touted as “100 percent ‘fine'” as illustrated by its linen tablecloths, chandeliers and a large, spaced-out seating area. Service is said to be timed perfectly and the crew is well trained. Likewise, another newly opened fine dining gem, is Agern from the co-founder of Noma in Denmark, Claus Meyer. While tables are sans cloths *gasp* the ambiance, service and menu are reported to be topnotch.

Famed chef Tom Colicchio, concurs that fine dining is indeed being resuscitated. His own newest eatery, Fowler & Wells will open in the FiDi later this summer.

“I think the press and the blogs have really warped the story [about fine dining being over],” says Colicchio. At his new spot, he says, “we will be back to where things used to be,” and it will be “a little more civilized than some joints parading around as restaurants.”
Some restaurants name-checked and vilified as having the writer “yearning for the peace and quiet of the street” are Via Carota, Le Turtle, La Pecora Bianca, Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones and 00+Co.

But readers might want to take Cuozzo’s declarations with a grain of salt. After all, another of his culinary-related pieces recently said gazpacho is the worst thing about summer, which is just total blasphemy!