- Danger Jones Sep 2, 2000 12:52 PM
3 of us had dinner last night at Rhone. The wine is great: do take the recommendations, but note: if they ask if you want to try something 'different' be wary. We ordered 3 separate glasses of wine and the one that was 'different' was barely drinkable. The other two, however were really excellent. The biggest drawback on wine is it's price: it's really expensive. There are no bottles available for under $38 dollars. The food is good. Haibut was great, the sirloin was good but has a southern smoked barbeque sauce tinge to it which feels oddly out of character for a Rhone themed restaurant. Lamb was good-fell tenderly off the bone. The interior is cold hard, masculine almost and here is the problem: so is the service. For the prices on the menu a little joi de vive would not have gone astray. Honestly? pull up a stool at the ultra cool bar and enjoy the great wine recommendations from the friendly barstaff, and the tempting charcuterie platter, but skip sitting down for dinner. (At 70 dollars a head, i'ts not just worth it...)
The wine list at Rhone is just astonishing, a veritable encyclopedia of wines from the namesake region, which is wonderful for those of us who are usually happy to find, say, one Cote Rotie on a list and suddenly have a hundred to choose from. It's the best Rhone list in New York, probably, even eclipsing the excellent selections at Veritas and Windows. And the reds are served at the proper cool ``cellar'' temperature rather than at warmish``room'' temperature, which shouldn't be unusual, but somehow is all but unheard of in New York.
But the food is distinctly not all that (or even particularly regional)--even the belly pork was flabby and flavorless, and I had a fish that was practically deliquescing with age. It may take a while for the menu to rise to the level of the wines.
I thought the food at Rhone was notably bad, especially at those prices. The food just didn't WORK. That pork belly "salad" was the pits.
I wouldn't even recommend it for the wine when there are so many better places out there with a great wine list and MUCH better food, not to mention a less hefty price tag.
And one other thing. If anyone opts to try Rhone, demand a table in the front. Sitting up in no-man's land is like being banished to Siberia.