Editor’s note

Stuart Elliott
Stuart Elliott

Critics be damned!

That’s what chef Daniel Boulud, the subject of our cover profile this issue, says in response to restaurant critics today elevating irreverence and whimsy over the traditional white-tablecloth-dining experience.

As reporter Chris Cameron writes, current tastes celebrate restaurants hidden behind pizza joints in Bushwick with Michelin stars, and bad boy chefs like David Chang, who pairs courses with cans of cheap beer.

So where does that leave Boulud, whose restaurant Daniel has existed at the pinnacle of French fine dining for the past two decades in New York City, but got stripped of its four-star rating more recently? We find a chef sizing up his legendary career and his place in the current culinary pantheon amid shifting tastes — which speak to broad cultural changes — in our story on page 12.

In our other profile this issue, we look at someone who dishes out criticism for a living.

New York Times film critic A. O. Scott has a new book, in which he argues for the importance of the professional critic in the age of social media, when everyone has an opinion.

Being a critic seems like it can be a thankless job — especially when Samuel L. Jackson is tweeting mean things about you when you write a bad review. But it’s a very necessary one, Scott rightly argues. We go inside the mind of the critic on page 26.

We also tour the city with someone who has a different sort of critical take — one whose focus is more olfactory. Rodrigo Flores-Roux, a designer of many beloved perfumes, recalls his favorite New York scents — and those he doesn’t like — on page 50.

We’re getting a bit critical about real estate too. Check out our new feature, “LLNYC’s look at listings,” which consists of mini reviews of the sorts of high-end properties that we typically feature in the back of the magazine. Moving beyond boilerplate information, we are looking to tell more of the story behind these astonishing apartments and townhouses, from their owners to how much they traded for in the past. Spearheaded by reporter Liz Lucking, they are sprinkled throughout the magazine starting on page 88. You can see a full roundup of all the new $10 million-plus properties to hit the market each week on LLNYC.com.

We’ve also got a new ongoing series, called “Board Approved,” that goes inside the most prestigious co-op buildings in the city and profiles their most famous residents. This month we look at the most illustrious residents of River House on the East Side, which include Henry Kissinger and Uma Thurman. Check out the story by Marynia Kruk on page 20.

Meanwhile, June is the new January.

With global warming making a mess of things, it’s hard to know when summer begins anymore or how much snow we’ll have over the Memorial Day weekend. But one thing’s certain: We had the fun of warmer months in mind when planning this issue.

As the summer wedding season approaches, we’ve got the perfect gift for all kinds of newlywed couples in NYC: the workaholics, the dreamers, the chefs, the beautiful people and more. Check out the story on page 10 and forget boring wedding registry purchases like silver soup ladles and bone china saucers.

Dreading the traffic out to the Hamptons on a summer Friday? We have alternatives. Namely, high-end homes in the Hudson Valley. We survey some of the priciest properties on the market, ranging up to $12 million, in a story on page 34. They include everything from turn-key sleek modern glass homes to working farms.

But if you are out in the Hamptons this summer, we’ve got you covered as well. Society figure Jean Shafiroff walks us through the top charity galas in the Hamptons this season on page 84.

And don’t miss our roundup of the top golf courses in the tristate area on page 22, which unsurprisingly includes many courses in the Hamptons. We look at the hurdles to getting in — East Hampton Golf Club, for example, requires a prospective member to have a minimum net worth of $1 million (excluding homes or cars) to even be considered.

Finally, if you are spending the bulk of the summer in the city, you might consider upgrading your outdoor space — if you’re lucky enough to have any (see page 40), checking out the newest art exhibits from the likes of Richard Serra and David Hockney (page 62) or paying a visit to Manhattan’s hip new movie theater, the Metrograph (page 76).

Enjoy the summer and enjoy the issue — at 116 pages, it is our biggest one ever.