Gordon Ramsay at The London

The ultimate in inevitability has happened, at least amongst foodies in the New York restaurant scene.

Chef Gordon Ramsay, more famously known in London, England, where he operates his three-star Michelin restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, has opened a 45-seat establishment in midtown Manhattan with four-star ambition. Whether he’ll get that rating remains to be seen.

New York is a tough town when it comes to (heretofore unknown) chefs seeking to wow what must be one of the most jaded sets of foodies the world has ever known. Veterans will recall the brouhaha surrounding one of Chef Ramsay’s contemporaries, Alain Ducasse, also of Michelin three-star fame when he opened his New York outpost, Alain Ducasse New York at the Essex House in 2001. Not long after, ADNY garnered a fourth star but as recently as a year ago, was reduced to mere three-star status. The earth quaked. The sun wept.

Mr. Ramsay is certainly ambitious, although perhaps a touch foolhardy. He’s one of the biggest names in the restaurant world but I’m not certain he’ll be able to mold New Yorkers in his image. Sneakers are discouraged, taking photographs of food at his restaurant is practically verboten and one is almost tempted to sit with perfect posture when dining at the London.

New York has FIVE four-star restaurants as of this writing: Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa and Per Se. Many attempt to reach that rarefied stratosphere, yet few succeed. These early prognoses don’t bode well.

Time will tell whether Mr. Ramsay adds one more feather in his cap or ends up falling flat on his face.

Update: My blog stats tell me that there’s been an upswing in the number of users accessing this post from BBC America. Interested readers might also wish to peruse this thread on Mouthfulsfood.

4 thoughts

  1. It’s not that New Yorkers want to see him fail. Lord knows that we’re always on the lookout for great restaurants in this city.

    However, comments such as:

    “I know I have to be in New York, but the quality is much higher in London.”

    or

    “I was trying to explain where we’ve gone in terms of ethnic food, Spanish tapas bars. I don’t feel the same ethnic spread in New York.” (click here to read the article from which the quotes are taken from)

    or

    “After two hours of dining, you will be brought to the bar/lounge area for coffee and tea.” (though to be fair, this is what a reservationist mentioned to the NYTimes critic as reported in his blog)

    don’t quite help Mr. Ramsay’s case. Neither does this latest review per Mme. Greene.

    If your first instinct is to open your big yapper and speak without thinking just because you’re this hoity-toity hot-shot Michelin darling from the other side of the pond and we should worship the ground that you walk on, well, I’m sorry but that kind of attitude just doesn’t fly here.

    Memo to Mr. Ramsay: Your food should speak more than you do. Something to keep in mind.

    Like

  2. Hi, just stubbled on your site. Just to let you know as someone who has dined at all the GR restaurants in London and had the pleasure of dining at the London in Easter, it was fabulous! You are allowed to take photos, the atmosphere was very laid back and the food was wonderful! Oh and seeing that so many Americans come over to the Uk to dine at his places I am sure he will succeed!

    Oh and why would you want to wear a pair of sneakers at a smart place?

    Like

  3. Oh and seeing that so many Americans come over to the Uk to dine at his places I am sure he will succeed!

    That he will succeed was never in doubt. Whether his food is exciting enough to achieve a four-star rating is another question altogether. Frank Bruni doesn’t seem to think so, though in Mr. Ramsay’s defense, the NYT critic is a voice crying out in the wilderness.

    Oh and why would you want to wear a pair of sneakers at a smart place?

    I do it all the time. Call me a Philistine if you like. I won’t mind.

    Like

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