Further opinions worth relatively little....April 24 2006 at 10:30 AM
Andrew H (Login 219)
AP Discussion Group
Response to I really wonder ...
I have to say that I agree. I was lucky enough (and then not so lucky) to dine at Gordon Ramsay twice (Royal Hospital Road version). Once before the GR machine took off, once a couple of years later. The difference was substantial and his continued slip out of the 'ranked' top 3 is evidence that unless GR is in the driving seat, in the kitchen, it is not the same.
I might add that the same also goes for Thomas Keller. As 'Per Se' opened, and Keller spent more time in NY, the standards of the French Laundry slipped. I have since heard that he has gone back to Yountville and is now in house and the standards have responded accordingly.
Nobu (original one in NY) was also a great disappointment for me. In fact, the local Sushi/Japanese restaurant to me (Kirala in Berkeley) has a cuisine that is a higher standard and sushi that is superior to any I have had else where. No wonder they can queue for hours to get into the place (there are no reservations).
Chains, as they develop, invariably start to trade off the name, and the originality that was once there is then traded for cache and being seen. Sad really.