Tuesday, August 19, 2008

point of discussion

a friend of mine who travels to new york frequently on business commented that jean-robert's restaurants (pigall's in particular) were over-priced, shoddy imitations of similar food in ny (i'm completely paraphrasing). she thinks it's because restaurants believe cincinnatians don't know any better. i became unreasonably incensed by this, and i really hope it is not the case. i realize we don't necessarily have the diversity of offerings that ny provides, but i hope that we are also not enjoying poor imitations.



Heather said...

I've been to the $98 price fixe places in NY - (Daniel - top rated in Zagats). Yes - it's better than Pigalls - much better. The service, the food, the attention to detail, everything - it's much much better.

BUT - for what Cinci has to offer - Pigalls is the best I've had.

Of course - I only go on the $40 special nights...

Last trip to NY - rather than hit a $100 place - I chose to go to 2 $50 places. I won't do that again. They were fine - but no better than Mesh . I'd rather spend twice as much and get twice the service and twice the quality.

liberal foodie said...

I haven't been to the overpriced Jean Robert restaurants yet. I agree with your friend's analysis. I can't justify spending that much money on a dinner (in cincinnati). I am from a major metropolitan city on the East Coast and Pigall's is priced for that city rather than Cincinnati.

I went to Lavomatic few months ago for Cincy Eats event, and the food there was terrible. He won't be getting my reservations, anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Jean-Robert at Pigall's on both the $40 nights as well as weekend nights. Any experience I've had there has been very positive, all around - food, wine, service, and overall. I will note, though, my SO and I both agreed everything was a bit more polished on the weekend dinner than it was during the reduced price mid-week option they provide.

And while I have had two utter misfires in appetizer selections at Twist, I have had universally positive (and delicious) experiences at Jean-Ro Bistro and Greenup Cafe. And like most everyone else, I had a pretty mediocre experience at Lavomatic, largely because the service was so poor.

While I can understand the inclination to say JR at P's isn't as good as something in New York, Chicago, or even Philadelphia (where I lived for many years), Jean Robert de Cavel is a very talented chef and his high-end restaurants provide an excellent high-end dining experience, with creative and flavorful food. Given I can't just hop on over to its peer restaurants in New York, etc., on a given night, I think Jean-Robert at Pigall's is still very much a meal and experience worth having...not a poor substitute for something ostensibly better in another city.

k said...

heather and liberal-
do you think cincinnati's positive reception of j-r leaves an opportunity for more fine dining? or do you perceive some diners (unlike anonymous) patronize j-r because of the novelty and status of it, rather than enjoyment/appreciation of the food?

Cin Twin1 said...

My mother who is a definite foodie visited my recently from Seattle, WA. I wanted to impress her with our Cincy restaurants and took her to Nicola's. She was blown away by the food, service, and atmosphere, and she is hard to impress.