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the Danny Meyer hype

i was thinking today of danny meyer. he opens a restaurant and the world beats a path to his door.

now i don't know who still frequents the union square cafe or gramercy tavern, but i do not that mr. meyer has an indian outpost called TABLA.

TABLA is an indian restaurant on madison square park that serves BEEF. Yes, hound heads, they serve beef in the land of shiva.

Now correct me if i'm wrong, but have you been served BEEF in an indian restaurant?

from what i know, HINDU's do not eat beef, yet danny meyer chooses to interpret indian food w beef creations.

this is akin to eating jewish or muslim food and eating PORK - you simply do not do that.

so if meyer wants to do indian - how about serving the best damn lamb dish that ever was made if you must go red meat?

i for one will NOT eat at any danny meyer hyped establishment in lieu of this


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  1. I don't think Tabla ever..in am sure...has tried to pass itself off as a strict Hindu restaurant without beef. It is a contemporary twist on Indian cuisine, some love, some don't so much and some object to the cost. This 'outpost' will survive without your patronage.

    1. In India it's mostly the Hindu's who do not eat beef and purely for religious reasons. But, India is not 100 % percent Hindu therefore there is a big portion of the community like the muslim indians that eats beef and not pork (they also have Parsi's, Catholic/Christians etc).

      In fairness to Tabla, it's usually described as New American - Indian and by coincidence does have an Indian Chef who hails from Goa, India...the part of India that was colonized by the Portuguese and is predominantly Christian...and doesn't claim to be a true blooded Indian establishment like let's say like Dawat or Tamarind and I believe doesn't and will not aspire to do so...I am not Indian and have dined in Tabla with several Indian friends who are Hindu and they are not in any way offended with the presence of beef in the menu...as they know it's more Indian Fusion cuisine plus some Hindu's do eat and enjoy beef too!

      I surely hope that you have at least eaten in ALL of the Danny Meyer Restaurants at least once...so, that you can have the authority to say that there all about hype etc.

      1. Actually, I have been served beef in an Indian restaurant. Muslim Indians, who make up about 13% of India's 1.1 billion people, eat beef.

        Anyway, as Jesdamala says, Tabla is not meant to be "authentic" Indian. It is, however, delicious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: oolah

          It is delicious, it is innovative, it is not for all, but it is for many. Thank you for many here for expressing it better than I. I have no issues with anything that Danny Meyer attempts to do.

        2. Danny Meyer has done A LOT for the sake of restaurants in Manhattan. I think your judgement is unfair. If there is a restaurant group that does it better, I am certainly not aware of it and I've been working in this industry for many years.

          While Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern are going through some awkward stages, their tables are not exactly empty. I have total faith that Meyer's team will return these seminal establishments to their glory days.

          Floyd Cardoz at Tabla is a brilliant chef, and to criticize him for serving beef entirely misses the point.

          Personally, I'll continue to follow Danny Meyer anywhere he goes as long as he keeps his standards so high and the emphasis on warm and caring service, something that is sorely lacking in even some of the most expensive dining rooms in town.

          1. I concur that Tabla is indeed delicious regardless of what type of cuisine it is producing and that Danny Meyer's group is the best restaurant group in NYC bar none (and I have worked for another resto group at one point which is also good but, definitely still not in Meyer's caliber). Mr. Meyer's dedication in providing great service to his customers have earned him due respect and accolades not only from his loyal customers but, also from his peers!

            1. Tabla doesn't claim to be a strictly Indian restaurant. It's Indian fusion. And it's pretty good.

              I also don't think the "world" beats a path to Danny's door. He's not Mario. He's not on the Food Network. Many people don't even know who he is. They may have heard of Gramercy or USC but not associate it with a celebrity owner/chef.

              Look at it this way, Katz's is Kosher style food. They aren't Kosher. If they were they couldn't offer us that delicious Ruben.

              As far as you not frequenting one of his restaurants, by all means. It will just leave the hard to get tables open for the rest of us.

              1. Not sure about what's going on with Tabla...haven't been....but I think that whatever hype may surround Danny Meyer is well-earned. His may not be the fanciest restaurants in the city, but they've been consistently marked by good menus/food, well-prepared, with great service and attention to the needs of the customer. That makes his contribution to the city food scene well worth celebrating, in my opinion. I can well imagine that there would be those who might object on religious grounds to an Indian restaurant serving beef on its menu, but I'm not sure that Meyer's ambition is to hew to religious observance here. As others have posted, those who object, like fukhed, are free to stay away.

                1. Long live Danny Meyer and his excellent staff and wonderful restaurants!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sashimi_forever

                    Absolutely second the long live Danny Meyer! Even Bruni-Wan Kenobi makes much ado about nothing in today's Times. Mr Meyer has given this city some of it's most pleasurable dining experiences. I love Eleven Madison Park and will be there again next Thursday, just ate at Blue Smoke again and loved it, think Chef Floyd Cardoz is a genius who never claimed to be Hindi, and Gramercy Tavern is back on track with Chef Michael Anthony's new menu, and my gawd then there's Shake Shack, DM's greatest gift to NYC!

                    What's the beef with Meyer, fukhed?

                  2. Of course you get beef in Indian restaurants, even in India. As many posters above have pointed out, 150 million Indians are Muslims, many Indians are Christian, and they do eat beef. Many hindus do as well, especially amongst the Dalits.

                    The next time you are in Calcutta, try the famous beef rolls at Nizams in New Market, or Goan Beef curry in Bombay or Goa. Or the beef kebabs at Karim's in Delhi. All delicious!

                    1. Danny Meyer has fans because he deserves them. The joint focus on food and service makes all of his restaurants worth going to (though I refuse to wait in line for the Shake Shack, so I don't know about that one). Tabla is one of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever seen, and the food is wonderful.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: NYprof

                        one of the worst meals (food and service) that i've ever had in NYC was at Tabla's Bread Bar

                        1. re: Simon

                          But you see, Danny Meyer is the type of restaurateur who would want to know that, would investigate why you had a bad meal, and then show up on your doorstep with a dozen roses and a gift certificate to get you to come back (OK, I may be exaggerating just a tiny bit).

                          No restaurant can be perfect all the time, but at least with his restaurants you can feel like someone actually cares.

                          I can't believe someone could spin a disagreement with menu selection into a personal attack on someone who's done so much for this industry. You think Fukhed may just be a disgruntled employee?

                          1. re: foodiegrl

                            Foodiegrl isn't exaggerating very much at all. One of my friends who is a regular at Meyer restaurants did get a very nice apology for a bad service experience. When humans are involved in providing service, it can't be perfect. However, you have better odds of having a good experience in Meyer restaurants than in most others.

                            Fukhed's reaction does seem a little off. Who knows?

                      2. I visit NYC from time to time and have found the Union Square Cafe to be a wonderful experience in terms of food, treatment, atmosphere, quality, service and price. Sure, they probably have their ups and downs, but sitting at the bar and enjoying their great selection of wines and their great foods is an unparalleled experience.

                        1. I am just back from having gone to India, and am delighted to report the beef I was served and ate there was of fine quality. The Taj hotel in Mumbai did it particularly well.

                          Tabla does not claim to be an "Indian restaurant." It is innovative cuisine with an inspiration from India, with spices, etc. from India.

                          1. Fukhead, your screenname rocks my universe like a detuned 7-string guitar.

                            While we're on the subject of Indian restaurants (a category to which Tabla, IMO, does not belong), the "best damn lamb dish that ever was made" is available at Devi, unless you count the braised lamb shoulder with lemon and garlic I make at home

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Yaqo Homo

                              OT, but please...which "best damn lamb dish that ever was made"...meaning the name. We are leaving NYC soon, and before we go we are going back to Devi, to Chola, perhaps to Tamarind, to Tabla....refined Indian establishments..and would LOVE to know about this dish! Thank you! I may start a new thread, but hoping you will be able to reply on this one and this post won't be removed.

                              1. re: Jesdamala

                                I think Yago Homo is refering to Devi's Lamb Tandoori.

                                1. re: nyufoodie

                                  Devi's most current menu has lamb chops and lamb shank. Both are stellar, but my vote is with the chops. On my last visit, we ordered both lamb dishes, split a plate of biryaani and some killer zinfandel; moksha was achieved.

                                  1. re: Yaqo Homo

                                    I'm heading to Devi next week for dinner...can't wait to try the lamb chops....just love them!

                            2. In Montreal, most "Indian" restaurants are owned by Bangladeshis. Almost 100% of them serve beef.

                              1. Some of his restaurants need to be refreshed, like the recent revamp of Picholine. But his contributions to the US neighborhood--which wasn't always as pleasant as it is now--and his restaurants' renowned hospitality--are timeless and what I think about most when I think about Danny Meyer or go to his restaurants.