Food

Size of David Bouley’s Menu Matters

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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