- OC Mutt Jul 23, 2006 10:47 PM
After watching Bobby Flay cook on Food TV for all of these years, I was enthusiastic to try his new restaurant. I've got to tell you hounds, that it was VERY disappointing. The menu is pedestrian and flat out dull. The food is prepared properly, served hot, but literally nothing jumps off the page at you and more importantly nothing makes you say WOW! At those prices, both should be happening. Seeing Flay's creativity and genius on Iron Chef adding inventive interesting twists on American and SW cuisine (what he did with frozen peas was inspiring - creative yet accessible and familiar. I wish I could've tried 3 of his dishes from just that one show at a restaurant), it's a shame that his menu at Bar Americain is so conservative and lifeless.
I agree 100 percent. I tried it this winter and was so disappointed. It was so expensive and nothing at all stood out.. I don't even remember what I ate nor what my husband ate.. Big waste of time..
In defense of Bobby Flay and his restaurants in general I have to say I've always had very good/great experiences eating at his joints. I ate at Bar Americain a few months after it opened w/party of 6 and got a great booth near the kitchen & Flay was actually there overseeing things. It was too long ago to remember details but I do recall a lobster/crabmeat cocktail that was pretty unusual/good and my pork entree was killer. The times I've been to Bolo & Mesa Grill I've been more than satisfied. I even ate at Bolo during restaurant week last year & was shocked (in a good way) at the quality/portion of food as I've been very disappointed in other places during past RW's. Anyway, not that BF needs me defending him but I post this as a onetime skeptic of him as a celebrity chef that is never in the kitchen & my 5-6 experiences at 3 of his NYC restaurants have all been consistently good/great where I didn't feel cheated when the check arrived...
Mundane from some is a delicious dinner for others. Keep in mind the location, and the type of restaurant... it might not be a New York native Chowhounder destination- but that doesn't mean it's a bad restaurant, and no one would enjoy it.
I had a really nice dinner there with some family from out of town. It actually exceeded my expectations. If you're looking for a pre-theater meal that everyone in your party will be able to find something to order and like, this is a good choice. Great atmsphere, and a totally inviting menu. If you are looking for a new and or mind blowing culinary experience, maybe this place isn't for you... but what it does offer, is done very well.
I would recommend the New England Clam & Sweet Potato Chowder and the Mussels and Fries Americain as the two stand-outs.
I understand what you are saying.. Bob Flay is really creative and does such wonderful things on Iron Chef.. I have also watched his cooking shows and have found his dishes to be really interesting.. But his cooking does not translate to his restaurants.. He has the potential for having really cutting edge inventive cuisine. But with the success he has had, why would he risk it? From a business stand point, creative and inventive food is going to alienate a large group of customers.. if it aint broke dont fix it.
I live across the street from Mesa Grill and yet will go to Bolo in a hearbeat. Why? Initially, because my former neighbor, who used to work at Mesa Grill, said the staff all preferred Bolo. Now it's because the food, in my opinion, is just plain better. I have been to Bar Americain and didn't mind it. Bolo is the only one of his restaurants where the "wow' factor applied.
I've been to Bolo and last night to BA. Both left me thoroughly unimpressed.
I don't know that I'd bother with Mesa at this point.
So disappointed I'm reluctant to try any of the Batali places, even though there's no connection other than "star" chefs.