Because this board's been so helpful to me in the past, I'm happy to report on my recent visit to the city. One of the best meals of my life was at the Benoit in Paris many years ago so I was really looking forward to trying Benoit in NYC. The interior was lovely, reminiscent of the parent restaurant. But when the food started coming all the promise of magic disappeared. The food overall was such a disappointment. We ordered oeufs a la mayo and it actually came as a hardboiled egg (stuffed with something mediocre) sliced in half on a plate. Nothing else. The duck a la orange -- not golden brown and only fair tasting according to my husband-- was a few pieces of duck with desultory slices of orange on top. The cassoulet and mashed potatoes were excellent. The desserts-- ordered on the suggestion of the very nice waitress-- were only fair. Either Alain Ducasse is seriously overrated by a lot of people, or he had nothing to do with the food in this restaurant.
By contrast, the new Turkish restaurant Savronna was excellent as was the newish turkish restaurant further uptown, Peri Ela, on a previous visit of a few months ago.
Also, what gives with New York City and its French restaurants? I try and try and have not yet found one that even comes close to its hype. The food at Daniel and Chanterelle was not as good as my neighborhood upscale restaurant in Maine. Grenouille has gone seriously downhill since shedding its French menus and Picholine the same direction since changing its decor.
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