OK, was JUST about to post this but read the news that Veritas has fired its staff and closed their doors, so this story pales in comparison to what the poor kitchen staff are having to deal with, but thought I'd share anyways:
Made advance reservations at Veritas for Saturday night for first ever trip to NYC. Reconfirmed the reservation by phone the day before and was assured by a cheery agent that all was set. Received a phone call from Veritas on Saturday noontime little more than 7 hours before our dinner reservation that Veritas would be cancelling our reservation because they have decided to undergo renovations. Agent said that she had no more information beyond that and that she was 'just the messenger'. Chowhounders can appreciate how impossible it is to get Saturday night reservations in Manhattan at a top-tier restaurant, not to mention the day of. EMP/etc. practically laughed at us as we called around frantically to make the best of what was to be our dining highlight of our trip.
Fortunately we followed the suggestions made by previous chowhounders to check out the (underrated) The Modern resto. Though we couldn't get a time we preferred, The Modern were able to accomodate us at an early timespot in their dining area. What can I say? It was an amazing dinner, fantastic attentive staff without being overly pushy or haughty, every dish was wonderful and unique. Wonderful ambience. The manager (we are pretty sure that's who she was) was out to greet with the staff both when we checked in and when we exited. We did their $135 Summer set menu and can highly recommend it. The only thing I could possibly complain of was the olive bread (a bit too hard) but otherwise, we were floored. Definitely ranks among the top 3 resto experiences we've ever had and we'll be back.
I have no idea what Veritas' explanation will be for their sudden closure, but the fact they are suggesting on their website that they will reopen is laughable. I would never ever again trust a reservation at Veritas (or whatever reincarnation they become) especially given how far in advance one needs to book a good meal in Manhattan. Never again.
Among some of our other memorable foodie experiences in Manhatten over the weekend:
- Amazing 66 for Saturday lunch. Great wholesome Chinese. Szechuan sliced chicken dish though was terribly underspiced - in fact it was like the few pieces of whole chilis in the dish were laughing at us because a Big Mac would've been spicier. I suspect it may have been because my dining partner / husband is Caucasian and had asked for water when we sat down so maybe they took that as a hint to water down their Szechuan dish to nothingness.
- Wu Liang Ye near Rockefeller. We were really pleasantly surprised. The Szechuan steamed pork buns were really good. Chinese food here, as with at Amazing66, had FAR less sodium than in any other Chinese restaurant we'd ever eaten at. We think that's a good thing but took a little getting used to - felt a lot healthier after eating there. Coincidence? Or part of NYC's reported push for lower sodium in restos?
- Had great drinks at Wallse in the West village area, just sitting out on their sidewalk tables.
43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003