The very serious-minded staff at The Aviary, the NYC branch of Grant Achatz’s famed Chicago bar, described their high-end cocktails as performance art. But I saw them more as a comedy. Because that’s what it is when you have your guests blow bubbles into a drink named How Does Snoop Dogg Use Lemongrass?. Nothing really happened other than the fizz going flat after the initial huff and the rest of us laughing. I would hope for more than just a fit of giggles after paying $24 a drink. Or maybe the joke’s on us for paying that much money.
The server at the UWS branch of RedFarm was pretty upfront with me in describing the food there as Americanized Chinese food, which I thought was super helpful in setting expectations. You shouldn’t come to RedFarm expecting cheap plates of tasty dumplings or noodles. This is Chinese food for rich white people, so prices will be at least double, and American tweaks will be made to some traditional recipes such as putting Katz’s pastrami meat into an egg roll or adding applewood smoked bacon to scallion pancakes. Some of the mashups are actually quite good, and others will leave you wondering where your money went.Read More