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Harshest Bruni review yet, that I've read

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

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

          Thanks for posting!

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

            Love the trashing.

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

              1. 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. 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

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                    2. re: Diane in Bexley

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

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

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Silverjay

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

                              1. re: Silverjay

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

                                1. re: rockycat

                                  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

                                    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.