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Jan 24, 2012 05:13 PM

Paul K vs. Bar Jules for pre-ballet dinner

My best friend and I have narrowed our choices down to these for a pre-ballet dinner in a couple of months. We are foodies and love talking endlessly about the quality and experience of dining (both service and food), money is not a consideration for this evening, and we are adventurous. These two seem relatively similar from an objective perspective. Any thoughts from those experienced?

We would also be open to any other suggestions, although she has said no Jardiniere, since she's been there a lot, and I have nixed Zuni for the same reason.

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  1. We used to go to Paul K regularly before performances. The last time we went, we allowed nearly two hours for dinner. We ordered promptly and waited, and waited, and waited. I asked the server about our order and he said that everything was fine and it should be out in a couple of minutes. Twenty minutes later, nothing had arrived. By this time, we had about 30 minutes remaining. I went over to the open kitchen and told the chef, who said "I'm just cooking your order now." When I asked why he was just cooking an order that we placed an hour ago, he walked away, I found the manager who said "What do you want me to do?" Bottom line--we have not been back for obvious reasons. In that neighborhood we like Absinthe and the Boxing Room both of which have very good food and service.

    1. Bar Jules is a nice, intimate space that can put you in the right mood for the evening. The times I've eaten there I recall the food being executed very simply but with nice ingredients. I think they're known more for being market driven. In line with this, the menu changes daily and typically has just a handful of items on a chalkboard. If you're happy eating whatever the chef deems noteworthy that day then it can work for you. It will be more like Zuni than Jardiniere.