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Veritas terrible management, but a happy ending (The Modern)

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OK, was JUST about to post this but read the news that Veritas has fired its staff and closed their doors, so this story pales in comparison to what the poor kitchen staff are having to deal with, but thought I'd share anyways:

Made advance reservations at Veritas for Saturday night for first ever trip to NYC. Reconfirmed the reservation by phone the day before and was assured by a cheery agent that all was set. Received a phone call from Veritas on Saturday noontime little more than 7 hours before our dinner reservation that Veritas would be cancelling our reservation because they have decided to undergo renovations. Agent said that she had no more information beyond that and that she was 'just the messenger'. Chowhounders can appreciate how impossible it is to get Saturday night reservations in Manhattan at a top-tier restaurant, not to mention the day of. EMP/etc. practically laughed at us as we called around frantically to make the best of what was to be our dining highlight of our trip.

Fortunately we followed the suggestions made by previous chowhounders to check out the (underrated) The Modern resto. Though we couldn't get a time we preferred, The Modern were able to accomodate us at an early timespot in their dining area. What can I say? It was an amazing dinner, fantastic attentive staff without being overly pushy or haughty, every dish was wonderful and unique. Wonderful ambience. The manager (we are pretty sure that's who she was) was out to greet with the staff both when we checked in and when we exited. We did their $135 Summer set menu and can highly recommend it. The only thing I could possibly complain of was the olive bread (a bit too hard) but otherwise, we were floored. Definitely ranks among the top 3 resto experiences we've ever had and we'll be back.

I have no idea what Veritas' explanation will be for their sudden closure, but the fact they are suggesting on their website that they will reopen is laughable. I would never ever again trust a reservation at Veritas (or whatever reincarnation they become) especially given how far in advance one needs to book a good meal in Manhattan. Never again.

Among some of our other memorable foodie experiences in Manhatten over the weekend:

- Amazing 66 for Saturday lunch. Great wholesome Chinese. Szechuan sliced chicken dish though was terribly underspiced - in fact it was like the few pieces of whole chilis in the dish were laughing at us because a Big Mac would've been spicier. I suspect it may have been because my dining partner / husband is Caucasian and had asked for water when we sat down so maybe they took that as a hint to water down their Szechuan dish to nothingness.

- Wu Liang Ye near Rockefeller. We were really pleasantly surprised. The Szechuan steamed pork buns were really good. Chinese food here, as with at Amazing66, had FAR less sodium than in any other Chinese restaurant we'd ever eaten at. We think that's a good thing but took a little getting used to - felt a lot healthier after eating there. Coincidence? Or part of NYC's reported push for lower sodium in restos?

- Had great drinks at Wallse in the West village area, just sitting out on their sidewalk tables.

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Veritas
43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

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  1. that SUCKS. so sorry to hear about the way they screwed you, but glad it worked out in the end. according to the post on eater.com (which i'm assuming is the one you read), the staff AND vendors were all completely in the dark. it's a shitty way to do business, and karma's a bitch so i doubt that it'll be all wine & roses for the "new Veritas" if they really do reopen.

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    Veritas
    43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

    1. I'm glad that you had a wonderful meal at The Modern. I've enjoyed my meals there as well. Sorry about your experience with Veritas. But luckily things worked out for you. I went through a similar experience when I was in Boston a few years ago. I know the feeling of trying to scrounge up a last minute Saturday reservation to a destination place.

      Amazing 66 is a Cantonese restaurant. Cantonese interpretations of Szechuan dishes are milder. However, I'm a little surprised by your experience at Wu Liang Ye as Szechuan food tends to be saltier compared to Cantonese cuisine. Aside from the Szechuan steamed pork buns (btw, what are those?), what else have you had there?

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      Wu Liang Ye
      36 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

      Veritas
      43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

      Amazing 66
      66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      1 Reply
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Hey Miss Needle - probably the reason our dishes at Wu Liang Ye weren't as saly was because we didn't order any Szechuan dishes there (it was so hot outside we decided to stick with something nonspicey like their HoFun/ChowFun noodle dishes). Guess we should've done the reverse and ordered the HoFun at Amazing66 and Szechuan at Wu Liang Ye instead :)

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        Wu Liang Ye
        36 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036