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.