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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by ally's dad on 09/27/2011
The initial reviewer has it correct in most respects. It is not the equal of great dining in France, but can hold its own with almost anyone here. It blows away Momofuko Ko and is warmer and friendlier than Masa; albeit with equally interesting food. It is not Per Se in any respect. The style of Chef Ceasar Ramirez is very reminicient of his mentor David Bouley, but without the latters excesses in presentation and sauce. The initial 15+ canapes have too many raw presentation - albeit with great tastes which is hard to achieve with one bite dishes. There was only one dish (a tofu dish) that was flat, and 2-3 which were celestial. Tastes on the raw product are too close to differentiate on occasion. The "star" was a sea urchin, truffle and brioche that was off the charts. One lobster main dish with japanese rice and nantua sauce was truly great. Waygu beef was a single small slice (excellent) but with an ill composed Sauce Perigordine. Desserts were amaturish, but tasty. Service wonderful, efficient and friendly. The single server was from Per Se and it showed. A truly wonderful experience. Is it worth the effort to secure the reservation - I leave that to you. The price has gotten out of the Brooklyn realm and has seriously enterred the world of Manhattan. $170 + tax becomes $185 - with tip $222.50 each + whatever wine you bring. The fact that you can bring your own wine is great on the pocket and is great fun. What they will do if and when they get a liquor license and the bill with tax and tip is $300 I can't say. If you are seriously into food and the whole show, go and try Ceasar's magic.
Posted by minkovich on 08/13/2011
Here are the basics. 10 to 18 people are seated on metal stools with backs around a U shaped table facing the stoves and cooking staff. 18 single-bite dishes are served and then 7 double or triple bite dishes are served. The total quantity is not generous, but it is sufficient. The quality of the food is as good as any restaurant in New York (but not Paris); disclaimer: I have not eaten at Masa. You bring your own wine and there is no corkage fee. The cost is $185 plus tax paid in advance, plus tip paid after the meal ends. The food is not fancy or precious; there is no attempt to emulate El Bulli. It is mainly fish and seafood, sometimes with one additional main ingredient, and a sauce. The chef very quietly announces the contents of each dish. He uses Japanese names for esoteric fish but provides the English equivalents if asked. The question in my mind is whether I should go back. My problem is that because the portion size was so small, I do not retain in my mind the taste of anything. I would prefer half the number of dishes of double the size.