One of the keys to a memorable restaurant review is the turn of phrase. Be it a rave or a slam, it’s all about how the writer conveys the ecstasy of a clean plate or the agony of an unused doggy bag.
Score one in the clean-plate department for New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells. Here’s how his praise of Bâtard in TriBeCa begins:
A few minutes into my first dinner at Bâtard, it became obvious that the chef, Markus Glocker, has a sniper’s accuracy at the stove.
Does the sniper analogy make sense? Not really, unless you believe that Wells is slyly referring to the chef’s last name. Does it work within the context of this restaurant review? Absolutely. Three stars from FishbowlNY for that lede sentence and these two, later snippets:
The walls that lean in and their twirling vines in bas-relief are flush with a tobacco-resin hue borrowed from Keith McNally’s crayon box…
Glocker’s caramelized milk bread with berries and brown-butter ice cream is already a certified hit, the song of the summer that radio failed to provide this year.
P.S. Like so many other Yankee words, “bastard” sounds so much more elegant when written/spoken in French.
[Image of Glocker via: batardtribeca.com]