Pete Wells, who took down Per Sé in an epic smackdown, was underwhelmed by New York’s sweetheart Sadelle’s, and really enjoyed himself at Señor Frogs, gave expensive Midtown hotel restaurant La Chine an excellent review. Whoa.
“At the risk of undermining my populist credentials,” Wells says, “I’d suggest New York could use more Chinese restaurants that are as expensive as our most ambitious French and Italian places.”
If there’s any cuisine you can safely say is better cheap and downtown or in one of the outer boroughs, it’s Chinese, which is what makes this review so surprising. But, we can’t disagree. Why shouldn’t Chinese food be available in a fine dining option? He notes, correctly, that Red Farm’s flavors are too sweet, Hakkasan is too basic, and he doesn’t mention Philippe, but we will: it’s just not that good. Maybe La Chine is just what we need.
Something to note: Wells loved La Chine and his review of Per Sé was a topic at my family dinner table almost a full week after it came out. He had an epically bad meal there. But, he gave both places two stars. What gives?
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