Let us compare them:
V Steakhouse: Overwrought decor, overly self-important crowd. First we have a mall. Now we have a casino restaurant.
Blue 9: Um, plywood decor looks like I could have made it myself on a weekend. And my construction knowledge extends to hit the nail on the flat end. Cool people. Not exactly a friendly vibe, but a compliment on a well-made milkshake will net you a smile.
V Steakhouse: Inconsistent. Breads were fine. Butter easily spreadable, but otherwise unremarkable. Appetizers easily the highlight of the meal - tasty smoked salmon ribbons for my gf, fantastic butternut squash soup with chestnuts and mushrooms for me. Main courses were singularly forgettable and thus instrinsicly overpriced. I've had steaks that were better seasoned at Chili's. The pork chop was also tasteless. The sauces ranged from forgettable to inedible - except for a citrus mustard which was allright. The fripps - tempura-style potato chips were allright, though $9 or so was a bit steep for about 6 fries. Dessert was OK. The apple beignets with cider came with four beignets in some sort of alcohol infused sauce and a tiny espresso cup of cider. The cider was tasty and the four beignets were like Dunkin' Donuts munchkins. But they were nicely warmed.
Blue 9 Burger: IMHO, the best value burger option in town. I used to like Island Burger, but I just couldn't take the crowding or the attitude, and Blue 9 costs 1/4 as much. Some might complain that the Blue 9 is a bit ... slim. Well, I just say that we're used to oversized portions and it would do most Americans good to slim down a bit. Lettuce is crisp and crunchy, beef is tasty, the Thousand Island dressing adds a nice zing. And it's all for less than $2.50! Add a milkshake on the side - with real ice cream, not the synthetic ooze from Mickey D's - and you'll hit $5 even on the cash register. You can't spend less in Manhattan on a filling, tasty and fresh meal without going to Chinatown.
Conclusion - I'd rather have 28 burger-shake combos at Blue 9 than slog through the pretentiousness of V. IMO, Jean-Georges is precariously close to slipping off Olympus. I thought 66 was his weakest restaurant until I tried V, but V makes 66 look sophisticated and Vong should have closed 5 years ago. Thank God that things have not yet gone totally amiss at Jean-Georges and Jo-Jo! Maybe JG should do a Bouley? Focus focus focus... On the flip side, wouldn't it be cool to see a few more Blue 9's around town?.... :)