Still River Cafe in CT? [moved from Tristate board]
Too far away for me here in Westchester but I thought the review was almost all extremely complimentary. Not sure of your confusion sixelagogo. I did find the reviewer's comment about her distaste for self-trained chefs to be pointed and nasty in tone and expected her to elaborate on how this restaurant proved her correct but she didn't - just left it lying there. Nor did she directly address how anything she quibbled with - and there was little - was a result of a lack of formal training. Imho - a year or even a winter in the kitchen at Blue Hill is impressive and I'm not sure how the chef/owner scored that job unless she was just chopping veggies
Anyway, aside from the reviewers dislike of one dish I thougth everything else read as extremely positive thus the "extraordinary" review. Probably she should have elaborated on the self-trained comment or left it out. Bad on her writing, bad on her editor.
The reviewer didn't just one dish, she complained about an entire meal:
"I encountered my only problem with Still River on the evening of my first visit, when the food, almost across the board, lacked seasoning. The result was that the potato-bound three-clam chowder was bland; perfectly fried, ricotta-stuffed zucchini blossoms were lackluster; a crisply fried striped bass fritter was just O.K."
No way does such a comment merit an "extraordinary" rating. I've eaten at the Still River Cafe and the food is both fresh and wonderful for the most part, and well worth a trip to the middle of nowhere on a weekend. But I can think of a dozen better restaurants in the state, none of which were ever rated "extraordinary."
I took the review differently - the first visit was, as you state, across the board bland but the second visit was so remarkably different she discounted the first experience as an off night and gave her weight to the second meal. In my re-reading, I'd agree with you that her two different experiences need be given equal or at least relative weight in the review. Still, the second meal did, per her description, merit an extraordinary at least for that visit.
A group of us went to Still River Cafe this past weekend....and we SO ENJOYED our meal...the atmosphere is simple but elegant, the service we had was flawless, the food was delicious...only a couple "complaints".. Half of the group ordered the Georges Bank cod platter...the chowder was heavenly, the fish cake was phenomenal, but the poached filet and polenta were bland. The beef platter had Kobe beef and it was "tough".... but none of us let that interfere with our experience, and we all agreed that going back there is a must. Though a bit pricey, we felt that we got our money's worth. A touch that we all appreciated was that jazz wafted through the air...the music did not take over the room. We did not realize that we had a room full of fellow diners, as we were able to converse among ourselves with ease and comfort. It is worth the drive!! Still River Cafe is right on the mark!!! Elitha October 8, 2007
Either Patricia Brooks is writing under the name of Stephanie Lyness or the two of them should be booted to the curb. Jfood is so sick of the NY Times CT reviewers giving away ratings like lollipops at the barber shop. HELLO NY TIMES MGT STAFF, IS ANYBODY HOME? can you please read this stuff before you print it? or is it all the news that fits we print.
Now jfood has not eaten at this resto and the website looks like somewhere jfood will venture to after the winter, but let's comment on the review.
Rabbit terrine - occasionally fancy
Jonah crab salad - too much horseradish
Scallop threesome - no comment, it's a review steph, remember. did you like it?
Clam Chowder - bland
Zucchini blossoms - lackluster
Striped bass fritter - "OK", must be a NY Times technical term
On her well nigh-perfect encounter:
Corn brulee - too sweet
Tomato and Mozzy - hooray she liked something. Need a lot of cooking talent to make tomato and mozzy
Cod - she liked
three creme brulees - she does not even comment on them other than they are served in little white ramekins
And the chef choices - a bun with tomato jam "alternating between...peach gazpacho" what the heckis alternating between, you receive some gazpacho then a bun then gazpacho? then you receive a tomato with some goat chees (jfood loves that combo by the way) and romaine, ham and parm in rice paper (also sounds very good)
And for this she gives the resto and EXTRAORDINARY. Sounds from the read that it has major kinks to iron out and should receive a GOOD with potential.
The NY Times should be embarassed publishing this junk.