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Harshest Bruni review yet, that I've read

heathermb Jun 11, 2008 06:57 AM

Review of Ago in NYC from today's NY Times:


My favorite quote: "And no pig should perish for a pork chop as dry as one at Ago."

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  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 07:15 AM

    this was one of those reviews that you just tell everyone to read themselves because it contains too many good quotes to repeat them all.

    i, for one, am not at all surprised that bruni hated it. while i haven't been to the NYC outpost, i would never waste the time or the money, based on two wholly unmemorable meals at the original location in WEHO. i only returned the second time at the insistence of a visiting star-struck friend who just HAD to eat there because de niro was an owner. [she also dragged me to dolce - i was NOT a happy chowhound that weekend.]

    1. LindaWhit RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 07:54 AM

      Oh. My. God. I had to stifle myself to not break out laughing while reading this at work! This is classic!

      Re: the Veal Milanese: "The one I had one night was pounded so thin that the breading on top met the breading on the bottom without pausing for much of anything in between. A vegan could have made peace with it."

      And I loved Bruni's two uses of Shelley Winters' swim scene from the "Poseidon Adventure."

      1. tatamagouche RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 08:27 AM

        The rack-of-lamb veal chop...God, that poor guy. Hilarious.

        1. yumyum RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 10:05 AM

          Scathing start to finish. I especially liked his advice to bring ibuprofin to deal with the noise level.

          Thanks for posting!

          1. Phaedrus RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 10:21 AM

            I wonder if DeNiro is going to, you know, ask Bruni who he was talking to.

            Love the trashing.

            1. m
              mpalmer6c RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 11:20 AM

              Amazing. Sounds like it's staffed by the Marx Brothers.

              1. vvvindaloo RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 11:47 AM

                I laughed out loud at this article. It made for great coffee reading this morning. I recommend all NY area CHers read it, if they haven't already. Not necessarily to take his lambast to heart, but for the pure fun of it.

                1. d
                  Diane in Bexley RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 12:30 PM

                  My question is that Frank Bruni has beeb the NYT critic for many years. How does he walk into a restaurant and NOT get noticed so much so that special treatment is accorded to him? You would think that the GM or some management type at the resto would have his picture on the wall, especially at a new high profile place like this. Just curious as to how this works? Any CHers know? TIA!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Diane in Bexley
                    attractivekid RE: Diane in Bexley Jun 11, 2008 12:39 PM

                    yeah, restaurants that know they're going to be reviewed have his face posted all over the kitchen. the host has a list of 'aliases' that bruni calls under.

                    Amo totally dropped the ball on this one. heads will roll.

                    1. re: attractivekid
                      goodhealthgourmet RE: attractivekid Jun 11, 2008 04:40 PM

                      well, judging from his review the FOH is staffed by a bunch of bumbling idiots, so it doesn't surprise me that none of them realized who he was or had the wherewithal to sound the alert to the kitchen.

                      man, heads are gonna roll after this. i'd hate to be on the receiving end of de niro's tirade.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        heathermb RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 11, 2008 08:22 PM

                        I hope there is some sort of follow up...perhaps a '6 months later' revisit (not that the place deserves any more of his business). But for the sake of my curiosity I'd love to see how the restaurant reacts. I wonder how it was in there tonight...

                        1. re: heathermb
                          Phaedrus RE: heathermb Jun 12, 2008 05:15 AM

                          Depends on if Deniro came in dressed as his character in Casino or not.

                    2. re: Diane in Bexley
                      MC Slim JB RE: Diane in Bexley Jun 12, 2008 10:13 AM

                      He's elusive. The one photo I've seen of Bruni (from a restaurant staff bulletin board "notify management if this guy shows up" flyer www.eater.com/archives/2006/08/to_cat... ) is apparently so old that he doesn't look much like it anymore; he apparently lost a lot of weight.

                    3. a
                      Alex318 RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 01:04 PM

                      Great Article. Frank's experience mirrors mine at the South Beach local. Apparently West Hollywood struggles as well...Its a wonder how 4 are now operational.

                      1. gini RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 01:30 PM

                        Oh my. Thank you for posting this. I have been laughing all day!

                        1. deborah24 RE: heathermb Jun 11, 2008 01:57 PM

                          "He kept marveling at its fury and aftermath"
                          "Desserts were dead-on one night, dead ringers for Sara Lee another."
                          “It’s the special rack-of-lamb veal chop”

                          I cannot breathe I am laughing so hard!!!!!

                          1. Silverjay RE: heathermb Jun 12, 2008 06:36 AM

                            Harsh indeed, but this one here is the benchmark in my opinion- http://events.nytimes.com/2005/10/26/... .

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Silverjay
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Silverjay Jun 12, 2008 12:59 PM

                              oh, i totally remember that one! i was LMAO while reading it.

                              1. re: Silverjay
                                rockycat RE: Silverjay Jun 13, 2008 07:53 AM

                                That's priceless! How did I manage to miss that one?

                                1. re: rockycat
                                  Phaedrus RE: rockycat Jun 13, 2008 08:19 AM

                                  Are you sure this isn't an Aprils Fools joke or something? People expect a restaurant like this to make money? Outside of Disney World?

                                  1. re: Phaedrus
                                    Cheflambo RE: Phaedrus Jun 13, 2008 01:24 PM

                                    I think a lot of people WILL go (hence the "totally booked" reservation availability) just because DeNiro's name is on it. My curiosity is piqued just due to this review. Who wouldn't want to try that hybrid rack-of-lamb veal chop? Even though I will be in The City for several days next month, Im not rushing to the phone for reservations.

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