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This is the first sentence of Pete Wells’ review of Danny Meyer’s restaurant called Untitled, “If you can get past the name, a graduate-school groaner that I am supposed to underline, but won’t, there is nothing pretentious about Untitled.”.
The sentence makes no sense. This is pretentious food critic writing taken to a new level.
Mr. Wells then panders to Danny Meyer by writing, “When Eleven Madison Park began its swerve toward the conceptual, he sold it.”
This is very misleading. The chef at Eleven Madison and his dining room manager told Danny that they were leaving if he did not sell it to them. They essentially fired Danny Meyer. Only after Danny left did it become 3-Michelin-stars.
And Mr. Wells writes this whole article never once mentioning that Danny Meyer is no longer running these restaurants, and that he has delegated it to Sabato Sagaria.
Pete Wells writes favorable reviews for big restaurateurs. That’s all he does. No matter how much he slams Blue Smoke or North End Grill, he gives them 2-stars anyway. His star ratings are a joke.
Wells goes on to criticize the architecture of Untitled at the Whitney Museum, “Untitled treats the architect deferentially. Too deferentially, I think: In its near-total lack of ornament, the dining room can look like an espresso shop”
I agree here and wrote this too in my review. The dining area and entire kitchen at Untitled are horribly designed. It is a cold sterile environment that reminds me more of an FDA-certified medical device manufacturing plant.
Wells then slams the kitchen, but gives it 2-stars anyway, writing, “If every dish were this good, Untitled might rank up there with Gramercy Tavern, where Mr. Anthony and Mr. Uskokovic hold the same titles they do here. But the kitchen isn’t there yet. The smoked pork ribs were tough and undercooked, and coated in a paste that didn’t taste of anything but salt. It was the only real disaster. In other dishes, the worst you could say is that the cooks packed too much into their shopping bags. The flavor of swordfish steaks disappears into a mashed eggplant that was a little too sharp and salty, and the taste of sea scallops can’t hold its head up in a bowl of sweet watermelon gazpacho with lemon cucumbers and peaches. At times the plates had so much going on that they left you with only a blurry impression of deliciousness. But as blurry impressions go, that one is hard to beat.”
Lastly, Wells makes an observation, “Next door at Santina, which plays Nicki Minaj to Untitled’s Taylor Swift, they would have rearranged the tables for better views.”. What he is alluding to is what I called The Whitney District. Rather than the drunken vibe of the Meatpacking District and High-Line that surrounds it, the Whitney and adjacent small art gallery called Santina, run by Julian Schnabel and Jason Carbone, have created a small little dining district apart from the Meatpacking.
In summary, if you want to know the truth about Untitled and any other Danny Meyer place, you have to read the BatteryPark.TV version. We inform.