Had a pleasant, but somewhat disappointing experience at Balthazar a few days ago.
Believe it or not, I was able to get 6:30 reservations for a Tuesday THE DAY BEFORE! A couple of years ago, that would have been impossible. One of the few positive symptoms of a bear market, I guess...
As for the meal itself, I thought the service was somewhat lax. I've had more attentiveness at Wo Hop! Three businessmen in suits usually do not have to wait 10 minutes or more for the waiter to finish his conversation with another waiter before taking their dinner orders. We even had to request the bread basket, otherwise I'm not sure if it would have come. I don't remember this kind of treatment at previous visits; I haven't been there in a while, though.
The goat cheese and onion tart was terrific, as expected. Next time, I may just order two of them. On the other hand, my steak frites was not very good. The meat was not quite as tough as my son's baseball glove, but I've never tried to cook a Rawlings, so I wouldn't know. If you like garlic, you'll love the french fries; I do, so no complaint there. My companions had satisfactory, but unremarkable meals.
Overall, I had the sense of a restaurant that's gone stale or tired. I hope I'm wrong.
I haven't seen any recent comments here about this erstwhile hotspot. Anyone else have a similar experience?