Size of David Bouley’s Menu Matters


Ouch. Frank Bruni gives David Bouley’s newest venture, Secession, no stars in the Times today due in part to “amateurish” service and its menu being the work of “an unfocused, distracted mind.” Other critics’ review have been somewhat kinder, but everyone agrees on one thing: the menu is big, very big. After the jump, a roundup of Secession reviews, where everyone devotes many words to discussing the shear size and breadth of the “sprawling,” “inventive,”  “oddly organized riot” of a menu.

“Scrawled and sprawled across it [the menu] is such an oddly organized riot of strangely mismatched options that being able to connect a customer’s shorthand request to an actual item requires only slightly less preparation than the bar exam.” –Frank Bruni, New York Times

“You might be tempted to hand the menu back to your server and say simply, ‘Bring me food.’ Order a glass of wine instead and put on your reading glasses. It’s worth it. ‘Secession’ may sound like a Southern restaurant, but it’s actually a union of Italian and French kitchens – from Cesare Casella and David Bouley.” –Danyelle Freeman, New York Daily News

“The sprawling menu is almost defiantly unfocused. House-made terrines and pates give Bar Boulud a run for its money. There are also tons of grilled and roasted meats, Modern-American “classics,” salads, and oysters and clams.” –Steve Cuozzo, New York Post

“The tables in the dining room are decorated with elderly, withering flower arrangements, and the cheesy, pine-green napkins and dun-brown chairs look like they’ve been heisted from the barroom of a not-very-prosperous golf club in suburban New Jersey. The menu at Secession is a similar jumble of tired brasserie conceits, and it’s too long by half.”  –Adam Platt, New York

“Secession has a big, not especially inventive menu loaded with bistro classics like steak frites, roast duck, and various risotti, along with a selection of high end charcuterie, some pastas, and what seems like dozens of other options.” -Josh Ozersky, Citysearch

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