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veritas

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marjorie zeidner May 8, 2000 06:34 PM

Someone recommended Veritas as a restaurant with great food. Has anyone eaten there? Is the food great? What kind of food? How's the ambiance?

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    stephen kaye RE: marjorie zeidner May 8, 2000 06:49 PM

    food darn good, decor is fine, wine list is outstanding!!! main attraction is the wines, not the food

    13 Replies
    1. re: stephen kaye
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      Kate RE: stephen kaye May 10, 2000 06:31 PM

      I just went to Veritas this past weekend, and I thought the food was stellar. Yes, the wine list is a tome, but that isn't any reason to discredit the food. Scott Bryan is fabulous--everything we had, from sweetbreads to lobster salad to veal to fois gras--was right on the money. To boot, the service could not have been better. The only catch is how exorbitant it is--the prix fixe menu is $68 for TWO (read 'em, TWO) courses. Ouch. Regardless, I don't usually wax eloquent like this, but I was really impressed.

      1. re: Kate
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        Stefany B. RE: Kate May 10, 2000 08:03 PM

        $68 for two courses? try $50 for two glasses of sauternes (not Yquiem, Rieussec)and offered by the waiter who neglected to apprise us of the price.

        1. re: Stefany B.
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          howler RE: Stefany B. May 11, 2000 12:03 AM

          ... considering its a premier cru and especially if you had the '85. i'm actually jealous. but the waiter should've pointed out the price, no question about that.

          1. re: howler
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            rebeccahodgson RE: howler May 11, 2000 08:35 AM

            QUESTION - Is it important to know exactly how much what you are drinking costs -AS YOU ARE DRINKING IT to properly evaluate your experience? I think for me, as a developing wine drinker, (no expert opinions here) that it is. Even if you find out at the end of your meal, it is post-drink and those immediate impressions are already over. I have often found myself mid-drink re-interpreting my impressions based on price. i.e. "Wow, is this really as good as x dollars? I have had y for x-5 dollars and it tasted only x-1 dollars less fabulous. Thus y is a better value" Yes good is good and x is essentially +1 better than y but I like knowing VALUE - that is crucial for me. I think the only way to do without that is to never know the price for anything I drink. Or eat for that matter. If a waiter, especially in a wine focused restaurant, robbed me of that evaluative experience I would be quite bugged. I think I may post this in the non-food section for comment from others on how they drink their wine.

            1. re: rebeccahodgson
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              howler RE: rebeccahodgson May 11, 2000 09:17 AM

              "QUESTION - Is it important to know exactly how much what you are drinking costs -AS YOU ARE DRINKING IT to properly evaluate your experience?"

              i think you've got the cart before the horse. wines no different from anything else - as you get more familiar with the qualities that are sought for in wine, you'll form a 'value' opinion everytime you drink some. if you then find out the price of what you were drinking, you'll either be unimpressed ('oh god, oaky chardonnay, who cares'), dismissive ('they must be kidding') or appreciative ('gotta see if i can get some').

              1. re: howler
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                rebeccahodgson RE: howler May 11, 2000 09:48 AM

                Yah - thats a good way to look at it - makes sense - I am working on that tongue. Right now I know (obviously) what I like or don't - and I can definitely tell when something is really excellent but not always why I feel certain ways. I am trying to learn how the wine lives up to the grapes and/or blends known or desired characteristics. But let me tell you - I LOVE LEARNING! Thanks for the post!

                1. re: rebeccahodgson
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                  howler RE: rebeccahodgson May 11, 2000 10:06 AM

                  actually, its the nose you should be excercising. we really dont 'taste' anything with the tongue other than register the degree of sweetness, sourness, saltiness and bitterness. inside the nose is where we capture the complex aromas that, along with mouthfeel, we call flavour. hence you dont taste anything with upper respiratory illnesses.

                  if you want to continue this thread, e-mail me at

                  eklavya1@netscape.net

                  1. re: rebeccahodgson
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                    cinnamongrill RE: rebeccahodgson May 20, 2000 04:41 PM

                    Hi, Rebecca! I'm looking forward to meeting you at the SD meeting on Wed. night. I checked out the area last night. China Fun on 63rd seems pretty good (and was the only place i saw that was crowded, which is supposedly a good sign). My comment is: Am i the only one out here who thinks $25 for ONE glass of wine (and that better be overflowing!!) is a tad extravagant???

                    1. re: cinnamongrill
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                      Stefany B. RE: cinnamongrill May 20, 2000 11:24 PM

                      "Am i the only one out here who thinks $25 for ONE glass of wine (and that better be overflowing!!) is a tad extravagant???"

                      No, and it was the traditional sauternes size stemware (Riedel)which is not all that big- and it was filled with the oenophilicly(?)prescribed amount, which is not very much. And no one had the courtesy to advise us as to the price before the bill came.

                      1. re: Stefany B.
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                        cinnamongrill RE: Stefany B. May 22, 2000 05:27 PM

                        Hi, Stefany B.! Glad to see someone agrees with me. On the other hand, i wouldn't exactly call myself a wine drinker. My local coffee shop has merlot @ $2.50/glass and i have yet to try it. On the third hand, i have a Concord grapevine growing in my garden, so i'll be able to make those stuffed grape leaves i've always dreamed of!! Have you seen our NY Serial Diners messages above?
                        We're meeting at 6 pm Wed. (5-24) on the SW corner of 60th & Second Ave. and prob. going to China Fun nearby to plot further restaurant adventures (the alphabetical kind). You seem like a friendly, normal person, so y'all come!!! (Bring a friend!!)

                      2. re: cinnamongrill
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                        Stefany B. RE: cinnamongrill May 20, 2000 11:27 PM

                        Oh, and I forgot to add that we had the same glass of wine, same label and year, at Picholine for $18 each.

                2. re: howler
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                  Pepper RE: howler May 21, 2000 01:29 PM

                  Oh...we're back on the Rieussec thing again. It is a great thing to be able to have a glass of '85 Rieussec with your foie gras, and $25 is actually not that much for what is something close to an ultimate experience (I remember a Santa Monica restaurant that had a neon sign in its window advertising ``Chateau d'Yquem on Tap''...which of course ran more like $45 to $95 a glass). And Veritas specializes in those experiences. But they still should have offered the option of a Beaumes de Venises or a Maury or something for a little less dough.

                3. re: Stefany B.
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                  rebeccahodgson RE: Stefany B. May 11, 2000 09:00 AM

                  OUCH! That is truly bad service. I am interested - how did you tip? And damnit - i want to know what my wine costs while I am drinking it (see post to howler in this thread for theory on this)!

                  If the waiter knows that price is no issue for you or has been led by you to believe that - it is one thing. IF s/he does not it is poor service. Keeping in mind that customers are also responsible for knowing prices for what they are ordering, there are many subtle hints waitstaff may drop to indicate to customers that something is not average price - especially when they are making a recommendation because at that point the customer is relying on their guidance and has not necessarily reviewed that item in the menu (if there is one present). For example " we have a lovely sauternes by the glass - blah blah blah - also, if you are looking for a more lightly priced selection we also have - blah blah blah - also excellent but perhaps not as blah blah blah" or maybe by pointing to selections in the menu as they describe them.

                  Sometimes (notice I am not indicting ALL waiters!), waiters purposely do this to run up bills. They rely on a persons material/financial insecurity or fine dining insecurity - the hesitancy to ask prices or to complain that the waiter didn't tell them the price out of embarrassment that they will seem as if they can't afford it or are not used to being in such a restaurant.

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              rebeccahodgson RE: marjorie zeidner May 9, 2000 11:12 AM

              Marjorie - I was at veritas last year.

              Stephen is right - Veritas is all about the wine. You know - how does that go - In vino veritas? - or something to that effect. Of course, obviously knowing that those who love wine and will PAY for wine must have experienced pretty decent food a few times in their lives, someone has made sure the food is very good - but really it is about the wine. I once printed the wine list off their website - It was about an inch and a half thick. It covers SO much - it's a dream for wine lovers.

              The cuisine type is what I always call "nouveau" maybe a passe term but for me it covers modern/contemporary american with french technique/influence which is attempting surprise creative combinations. But now that i write this and examine my use of that word - its usually because I think that the place i am describing failed to reach that supreme sublime make your cells vibrate level despite seeming to have their sights set on that goal - so high marks for trying but a miss. If you really want the meal to be about the food go to another restaurant. At veritas you order your food to go with your wine.

              The ambiance I would not call romantic rather relaxing - its cool and modern and simple. I do like the design. I think relaxing is a good word also because they allow you to linger and don't rush you - which really grates me when i am paying decent $$$ for wine and grub. I don't remember having any service issues and I tend to have higher service standards the more I am paying so...it must have been fair.

              Bear in mind its been about a year since I was there so maybe some things have changed.

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                Rex RE: marjorie zeidner May 10, 2000 02:57 PM

                True, wine is the focal point of this restaurant, but this does not mean that the food is anything but wonderful. Try the sweetbreads and tell me that I am wrong. The one area that truly needs improvement is the cheese plate.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rex
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                  howler RE: Rex May 10, 2000 04:28 PM

                  i'll second that gripe about the cheeseplate. with so many truly wonderful wines to marry, the cheese plate ought to be a focal point of the meal, but alas ...

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