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May 15, 2007 06:26 AM

Is CRU worth it?

I am visiting NYC in the next couple of weeks and have made a reservation at EMP, thanks to your multiple recommendations. I am now looking for a different dinner out for our second night. Do you recommend CRU? If not, please give me your suggestions.
Thanks so much.

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  1. I ate at Cru a little over year ago and would highly recommend it.

    1. One of my favorite restaurants, definitely worth it.

      Service is stellar, so is the food.

      8 Replies
        1. re: jsmitty

          I am a huge fan of EMP and CRU -- the main (very attractive) draw to cru is of course their epic wine list and extensive cellar of older vintages of burgundy and piedmont wines. If you are a wine geek, or want to be all means it is a truly great experience. I would also recommend my underdog, Hearth. who's food (as much as it breaks my heart to say a bad word against cru) is much better. the wine list is very well put together with some awesome stuff, only not quite as extensive.

          1. re: winebitch

            Hearth is in my top 5 along too. Huge fan. I'm not sure I agree that the food is 'better' than Cru, I would say equal though and more casual/less expensive meal. The sweetbread/veal wrapped in cabbage appetizer is one of my favorite dishes in the city.

            1. re: Nehna

              Thannk you for this advice, i will go ahead and try with Hearth instead..

              1. re: Isamtl

                I went to Cru few months ago, but didn't love it. Had the hamachi ceviche and a fish dish that , I thought both were ok. The wine selection by the sommelier was awesome though.

            2. re: winebitch

              i truly like hearth alot, but cru is a notch above....

              1. re: jsmitty

                i've had more inconsistent meals at cru. one time i remember all of the food across the board being way too salty. don't get me wrong, i eat there alot and love it. but for me, i've had more magnificent actual food at hearth. i wish they still had the sea urchin with celery root soup. i still get cravings for it! by the way the crudo app at hearth is way better than the hamachi at cru. last time i was there, our group ordered seconds....after our entrees!!

                1. re: winebitch

                  Hearth is a good restaurant, but I don't consider it a similar experience to someone considering Cru. That being said, I find the food at Cru over-rated. I much prefer the food at Veritas and the wine prices are much more reasonable than Cru.

        2. Had the tasting menu there with a group this last December. We made the mistake of ordering wine pairings, several of which weren't very good - a bit of a shock given the restaurant's reputation.

          Out of what we had, virtually all of it was unmemorable. I found the interior drab as well. For what it's worth, I had eaten but two evenings ago at Blue Hill, and found Blue Hill to be the all-around superior experience. Cru seems to me to only be appropriate for serious wine people who are more interested in their (extremely impressive) wine list than in having strong food. None of the people I was with were at all impressed, including three other New Yorkers and a guest from out of town.

          All that said, many people on these boards love the place, so your mileage may vary.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jonasblank

            I completely agree with Jonas. My wife and I ate there with two other couples and found the meal and the environment to be extremely unmemorable. The wine list was fantastic, but the food makes it a "don't go" on our list. There are much better places to be had.

            1. re: jonasblank

              Thanks for this advice, i did decide not to go to Cru and will instead eat at Hearth on my second night. Since i am not going for the wine list, but the quality of the food and ambiance of the restaurant, i gather i am better off somewhere else.

              1. re: Isamtl

                As much as i was one of the people voicing support also for Hearth, I feel like I have to stick up for Cru, which as I said is one of my favorite restaurants.

                It's amazing how many of us have completely different experiences of a place, all of us such food enthusiasts :)

                Yet I have to say, it was one of the best meals I've had in NY, and I put that alongside Bouley, Daniel, and Per Se....especially coupled with the unbelievable service we had that night from our waiter. Perhaps we just visited on a 'better' night but the food was superb that evening. And I can't see how anyone would find the interior drab.....I remember reading that comment before on CH and I just dont get that. Maybe it was just too dark in there for me to see what someone else saw in a different seating position. But enjoying the company I was with as much as I did, the wine, the food and our charming waiter...I guess I just failed to notice what some have critized in the interior. I enjoy a place that doesnt fight for my attention with the rest of what I'm there for.

            2. Bump for this thread as it seems the most appropriate one to do.

              Ate there tonight (have been before but at least 2 years ago) and it was as good as I remembered.

              Service was outstanding (struck the right balance between engaged but not fawning), and recommended stellar wine pairings.

              The food from the amuse forward was really great. Standout dishes included a sous-vide chicken breast dish, Tortelloni app, and the desserts were great too. I had a Valrhona chocolate dessert that had it 3 ways.

              One thing I am not a huge fan of, and was not the first time I went, is the feel of the place. It just feels sterile, and the decor is bland. The space just doesn't feel special in way that other restaurants are able to (e.g., EMP). Luckily the food, wine and service made up for that.

              One thing to note is that we had a fairly early res and even though opentable had no openings, the place wasn't exactly packed and stayed that way throughout our meal.