Lucien - best bistro?!
I ate at Lucien this evening, the food was good and the service was friendly. The problem was the place itself: it was very noisy and HOT (there was a floor fan that didn't do much), and a bit lacking in ambience, I thought. In short, I have been to better bistros in the city, and my question is this: Why did Time Out New York vote for this as best bistro in NY? Should I be suspicious of their other choices as well??
I've never been a big fan of Time Out New York's restaurant choices. I can't give you any specific examples off the top of my head, but I find that they give good reviews to mediocre places and ignore great places. It's more of a buzz, publicist driven thing, rather than a good judgment thing.
re: Peter Cuce
I think this disparity epitomizes the difference between "chowhounds" and "foodies". As Big Jim puts it on this site's homepage:
We're not talking about foodies. Foodies eat where they're told; they eagerly follow trends and rarely go where Zagat hasn't gone before. Chowhounds, on the other hand, blaze trails, combing gleefully through neighborhoods for hidden culinary treasure. They despise hype, and while they appreciate refined ambiance and service, they can't be fooled by mere flash.
Disclaimer: I've only eaten at Lucien once. It pretty much sucked.
The fault lies not with the fine people at Time Out but with their readers. Their "best restaurant" picks are actually determined by a readers' poll. So blame democracy.
I have to say I'll never believe anything TONY says. I ate at Lucien last Friday night w/ my wife, and we both thought the food was merely adequate! If you're down that way, I think you're much better off going to Congee Village or the Natural Restaurant (both on Allen). It'll cost you a third of the price, and I'd have to say offer you a better meal (though your waitress probably won't have a nose ring!).
We had a completely disappointing experience at Lucien recently. Our waitress shoved a menu in our faces after a 15 minute wait and couldn't be bothered telling us what the specials were. The fish soup arrived tepid - the kitchen miked it, resulting in hot soup and soggy croutons. The rest of the meal was nothing special - no reason to detour here. Lots of attitude and nothing more.