HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Corton, wd-50 or Lincoln Ristorante?

J_A_A Oct 11, 2010 03:31 PM

Dear all,

I am spending a bit more than a week in NYC in November, and I have chosen almost all the restaurants I wanna go to. However, I have only 2 nights to go to these 3, so which one would you leave behind?
I haven't been to any of them...
Thanks in advance for your help!

Jonathan

P.S. My other dinners will be Beef 7 ways at Ma Peche, Bo ssam at Ssam Bar, Per Se, Babbo, Roberta's, Torrisi and hopefully Momofuku Ko if I can get a booking :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. thew RE: J_A_A Oct 11, 2010 03:54 PM

    can't speak to the other 2, but love wd50

    1. e
      edwardspk RE: J_A_A Oct 11, 2010 04:57 PM

      Have not made it to Lincoln yet (it's fairly new), but between Corton and WD-50, I prefer Corton.

      -----
      WD-50
      50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

      Corton
      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      1. daveena RE: J_A_A Oct 11, 2010 06:07 PM

        You can drop Lincoln - I don't think it yet meets the expectations set by the chef's pedigree, the gorgeous setting, and the trappings of fine dining (amuse-bouches, petit fours, etc). It wasn't as creative as I'd hoped - it does do some classics well, but you have your Italian bases pretty well covered already, and I don't think it would add much. Corton and wd-50 will be better in terms of rounding out your experience.

        -----
        Corton
        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        11 Replies
        1. re: daveena
          d
          drumwine RE: daveena Oct 12, 2010 10:48 AM

          Totally disagree concerning Lincoln. Ate there last night & 4 of us were swooning over the creatively balanced flavors. Benno is gently pushing the envelope of Italian cuisine. PLUS the room is comfortable & quiet...refreshing to not have to shout at tablemates & waitstaff to be heard.
          Highly recommend it.

          1. re: drumwine
            f
            fm1963 RE: drumwine Oct 12, 2010 11:10 AM

            I'm going to Lincoln in a few days and would love to hear about your favorite dishes. Thanks!

            1. re: fm1963
              d
              drumwine RE: fm1963 Oct 12, 2010 03:49 PM

              Favorites would include the amuse of fried olives stuffed w/sausage; sea scallops; foie gras rabbitt terrine; spaghetti al pomodoro; bistecca w/bone marrow custard; & desserts: the budino; and the ricotta torte w/figs & fennel pollen gelato.
              Breads & crisps also great...
              Enjoy your meal!

              1. re: drumwine
                J_A_A RE: drumwine Oct 12, 2010 04:37 PM

                Thanks! Now I'm getting even more confused I think :) In a nice way though...

                1. re: drumwine
                  f
                  fm1963 RE: drumwine Oct 13, 2010 04:21 AM

                  Thanks drumwine!

                  1. re: drumwine
                    daveena RE: drumwine Oct 13, 2010 08:38 AM

                    Agree on the bread service - I loved the architectural presentation of the flatbreads.

                    I normally wouldn't order eggplant parm and lasagna and a place like this, but given the number of reports trumpeting that Lincoln's versions were the best evah! I had to try. Verdict: eggplant parm, yes. The super thin slices off eggplant were extraordinarily meaty and concentrated, with crisp caramelized edges. The lasagna - no. It was good, but the texture of the meat sauce was quite a bit coarser than I expected, the flavor less complex, and a bit too salty. I had much better lasagna at Salumeria Rosi.

                    Lincoln's version of uni pasta is better than Marea's, IMO - the sauce tastes more lobster based (Marea's is dominated by crab) and the tiny, whole tongues of uni packed a more powerful punch (I had trouble identifying the uni component at Marea), A burrata and tomato app was very disappointing, with flavorless tomatoes and so-so burrata.

                    The tartufo was quite good, with its core of refreshing cherry sorbet, while a rustic looking huckleberry crostata was ok. Its accompanying licorice gelato was left on the plate.

                    So, it may be a matter of ordering well (as I'd had both a foie gras rabbit terrine and a giant steak with bone marrow at Minetta a few days prior to this meal, both were off the table for me), or it may be a matter of a still evolving kitchen. I ate at Marea, Lincoln, and Alto in the space of 5 days, and with the close comparisons, would definitely prefer to go to either Marea or Alto, but I also recognize it's still early in the game. That said, given the OP's standing lineup, I'd still leave Lincoln for a future visit.

                    -----
                    Salumeria Rosi
                    283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

                    Marea
                    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                    1. re: daveena
                      f
                      fm1963 RE: daveena Oct 13, 2010 09:27 AM

                      This is great. Thanks daveena!

                      1. re: daveena
                        f
                        fm1963 RE: daveena Oct 19, 2010 03:45 AM

                        I enjoyed my dinner at Lincoln last night.. Bread service was elaborate - breadsticks, crisps, focaccia, butter and olive oil.

                        The amuse consisted of chickpea fritters with an intensely flavored eggplant puree.

                        The branzino crudo and agnolotti with braised lamb were excellent.. The ricotta cheesecake (served with with pluots and fennel confit) was quite unusual and delicious. Mignardises included cookies and a macaron.

                        Service was great and the dining areas were luxurious in an understated way. Definitely worth a return visit.

                        1. re: fm1963
                          daveena RE: fm1963 Oct 19, 2010 08:31 AM

                          Glad your meal was good - how do you think Lincoln compares against the other upscale Italian restaurants in NYC? Was it the food you expected and hoped for from Benno?

                          One of my concerns with Lincoln was that I couldn't sense a distinctive voice - strip the Corton and WD-50 menus of their headers, font, etc, and you still know exactly who created which menu. I can't say the same for Lincoln. Benno's West Coast counterpoint, Corey Lee, left The French Laundry and started Benu in SF - I haven't been yet, but from the menus and reports, it seems to have a very clear point of view. I guess I was hoping to find a more personal creation in Lincoln, but found a more disjointed focus-groupy hodgepodge, as if all the investors demanded that their favorite dishes from Marea, Alto, Convivio, etc be included on the menu (not an indictment of the actual execution, which, from your and drumwine's reports, can obviously be very good.)

                          1. re: daveena
                            f
                            fm1963 RE: daveena Oct 19, 2010 10:08 AM

                            I have to say that Lincoln felt very much like a Michael White restaurant - i.e. the modern, vaguely 70s furnishings, brisk but detached service, the plating, even the clientele.

                            I haven't been to Per Se, so I don't know what Benno's style is like, but it seems obvious that he is pitting himself against Marea, Alto and Convivio (as opposed to, say, Babbo or Scarpetta), and presenting his own version of their famous dishes.

                            I agree that based on the three dishes that I had, I can't really distinguish Benno's voice from Michael White's, but the concept is still evolving. The printed menu last night was different from the online menu. I did love the food. The chickpea amuse, crudo, and agnolotti were utterly luxurious, and the cheesecake paired with fennel was distinctive.

                            I think Benno's signature style will emerge eventually. He's probably just using the current template of high end Italian as a starting point. It will be interesting to return after a few months.

                            -----
                            Per Se
                            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                            Babbo
                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                            Scarpetta
                            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                            Convivio
                            45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                            Marea
                            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                            1. re: fm1963
                              daveena RE: fm1963 Oct 19, 2010 10:54 AM

                              The cheesecake sounds great, and more like the sort of thing I was hoping to find - it wasn't on the menu yet when I went.

                              I'm looking forward to seeing how the menu evolves over time.

              2. J_A_A RE: J_A_A Oct 11, 2010 07:57 PM

                Thanks a lot for your replies. Yeah I'm not sure about Lincoln either... Might be a bit early.
                Anyway I might have trouble getting a booking in one of the three, that might make the decision easier :)

                6 Replies
                1. re: J_A_A
                  Pedr0 RE: J_A_A Oct 11, 2010 09:43 PM

                  WD-50 is just another overrated place to feel self-conscious amid a bunch of suits. Want an amazing and quintessentially New York experience? Go to Desnuda in the East Village.

                  -----
                  WD-50
                  50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                  Desnuda
                  122 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                  1. re: Pedr0
                    thew RE: Pedr0 Oct 12, 2010 06:53 AM

                    i didn;t feel self conscious there, and i did not find it over rated. i had a fabulous meal there. expensive, yes. also delicious, whimsical, creative, and good

                    1. re: thew
                      w
                      wreckers00 RE: thew Oct 19, 2010 05:15 AM

                      I ate at wd-50 last month and there was not A SINGLE jacket in the entire place. Hell, there were people wearing t-shirts and shorts.

                      It is one of the most casual michelin-starred restaurants and the food is the most creative of the 3 (although Corton is too)...and I think wd-50 has great food.

                      At least do the wd-50 dessert tasting one night...it's given me my favorite desserts this year

                      -----
                      Corton
                      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                    2. re: Pedr0
                      StevenCinNYC RE: Pedr0 Jan 3, 2011 03:58 PM

                      My friend had said that if I like the innovative food in Barcelona (which I love), I would like WD-50. He was wrong. While the food was definitely clever and intellectually interesting, it was devoid as any sensuality which seems to be the soul of Catalonian cuisine. I'm fine with food that appeals to my intellect, but it still has to has to make my mouth happy. Don't remember suits, but that wouldn't have mattered to me. The only place that came close in recent memory in terms of maximal innovation and sensuality was Tailor. The chef at 11 Madison Park borrows some wonderful preparatory techniques from his friend Ferran Adria for the 11-course tasting menu, but he stays with the bounds of traditional flavors (which is still wonderful but just to know what to expect). Why did Tailor close? Sounds like I need to try Corton. Came here to learn about Lincoln--seem to be mixed reviews so far.

                      -----
                      WD-50
                      50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                      Corton
                      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: StevenCinNYC
                        r
                        rrems RE: StevenCinNYC Jan 3, 2011 04:35 PM

                        Tailor was wonderful. Corton is not in any way comparable, and is much too expensive for what it is, IMO. Tailor closed because, I assume, it could not survive being empty most of the time. The food I had at WD-50 was good, but again I did not feel it was compelling for the prices they charge. I have not been to Lincoln, but have heard good things about the food, and bad things about the prices.

                        -----
                        WD-50
                        50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                        Corton
                        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                        1. re: rrems
                          StevenCinNYC RE: rrems Jan 16, 2011 10:59 AM

                          I finally went to Corton last night. I was shocked by the bill ($500 for two w/tip and no wine--two tasting menus $155 each, plus two truffle supplements at $40 each, plus tax and tip). That said, the food was definitely inventive and many of the courses were like festivals of food--lots of dishes and all kinds of activity around presenting the food prior to plating, multiple things poured, sprinkled, and spooned onto our plates, etc. Some of it was really great and nothing was bad, but it was hard to fully appreciate each element or understand how they all came together. The servers only provided a brief summary of what was in each course so you're left wondering what the other 20 elements are, plus they sort of mumbled and rushed their ways through it so I wasn't sure about the little they did say.

                          For the money, I'd rather have the 11-course tasting at Eleven Madison Park, but as an experience Corton is different and unique. And even though there are fewer courses, each course has so much happening that you end up experiencing a lot.

                          Overall, I found Corton dazzling, both in good and not so good ways. I'm glad I went, but my date thought that our meal last week at Dovetail was better (and that cost about one third of what this one did). I love Dovetail, plus they treat me really well which is always nice. They are gracious and discreet, the value is right on the mark, and every dish really works. Plus, the space is very comfortable, especially so since they expanded last year.

                          So, going back to the OP's question, I'd have to say that none of those restaurants would be my first choice in NYC, but Corton is definitely better than WD-50. I haven't tried Lincoln. My own list would include Eleven Madison Park and Dovetail. And I wish we could resurrect Tailor.

                          -----
                          WD-50
                          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                          Eleven Madison Park
                          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                          Corton
                          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                  2. sgordon RE: J_A_A Oct 20, 2010 11:21 AM

                    I can't speak to Lincoln since I haven't been yet, but between Corton and WD I prefer WD. They're both very artistic & creative, but I find that the flavor pairings at WD are more interesting / outside the box, whereas Corton is, while good, just a little less so. You'll have a great meal, but no lightbulb moments where you're, like, "scallops and cranberry spice bread - who knew THAT would be delicious?"

                    One caveat, though, is that if you're going to WD, poll the boards here for input on the menu - there might be some skippable items / duds among the brilliance. It's just the nature of any place pushing the boundaries like that.

                    I wrote a review of some recent dishes here, though by November probably a third of the current menu will be different:
                    http://newyork.nearsay.com/nyc/east-v...

                    -----
                    Corton
                    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sgordon
                      J_A_A RE: sgordon Oct 20, 2010 01:55 PM

                      Thanks to all for your help.
                      I ended up booking WD and Lincoln.
                      Will keep Corton as a backup - and I'm now also tempted by Degustation!
                      So new question, Corton or Degustation :)
                      Merci

                      -----
                      Corton
                      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: J_A_A
                        p
                        peter j RE: J_A_A Oct 20, 2010 02:20 PM

                        Corton, definitely.

                        -----
                        Corton
                        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                        1. re: J_A_A
                          s
                          ShanDeez RE: J_A_A Jan 3, 2011 05:53 PM

                          I loved Degustation! My boyfriend and I went there a few months after it opened. It has a down-to-earth feel about it. You can sit sushi bar style and watch them prepare the dishes. All the food was delicious and innovative. And, I can't put my finger on why, but I found it to be kind of romantic and sensual.
                          I have not been to WD, Corton, or Lincoln, so I cannot compare. But Degustation is in the East Village, which clues you into what the vibe is all about.

                          -----
                          Corton
                          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                      2. s
                        saraswank RE: J_A_A Oct 20, 2010 05:01 PM

                        I seem to be in the minority here but I did NOT enjoy WD 50. I found it to be overpriced and underwhelming. I did NOT like the food and I get that you're actually just paying for the molecular gastronomy experience but I found the actual quality of the food to be mediocre at best. I went with 5 other people (most of us NYers) and the opinion was unanimous.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: saraswank
                          e
                          edwardspk RE: saraswank Nov 1, 2010 05:47 PM

                          Could not agree more. Much prefer Corton over WD-50.

                          -----
                          WD-50
                          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                          Corton
                          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                        2. l
                          LSW RE: J_A_A Nov 14, 2010 08:59 PM

                          Lincoln is completely overrated and overpriced. I wouldn't bother. Corton is lovely, the cooking exquisite, the room elegant and polished. WD-50 is edgier and some of the dishes are insane...if that appeals to your more experimental sense.

                          -----
                          WD-50
                          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                          Corton
                          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                          Show Hidden Posts