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Update April 26, 2017- Even the food reviews in the New York Times are now agenda-driven propaganda. Pete Wells gave the new Union Square Cafe three-stars. Read below to learn what this overpriced restaurant is really like.
March 19, 2017- by Steven E. Greer, MD
I eagerly went to the new Union Square Café that was relocated to Park Avenue South and 19th Street and brought a good attitude. The construction job was superb. I noticed that ceilings were high-tech and had acoustic baffling to reduce noise (The must have learned from their mistakes at Untitled).
However, when the food arrived, I was rudely reminded that Danny Meyer has been out of the fine-dining business for many years now since selling Shake Shack to shareholders. For whatever reason, Mr. Meyer’s company cannot find good chefs. They are trying too hard.
First, it was Blue Smoke and the pretentious chef there who thought French fries were too bourgeois and replaced them with potato wedges. Then, it was Untitled in the Whitney Museum where the chefs failed at being like Gramercy Tavern, and Marta where the pizza crust is like a cracker.
Now, Executive Chef Carmen Quagliata of Union Square Café has lost touch with what diners want. He is trying to impress his peers in the culinary world more than the diners.
I ordered simple French toast. How can someone mess that up? But they did. What arrived was something other than French toast. It was a four-inch-thick piece of weirdly shaped bread, with no butter or syrup, and instead topped with a mystery fruit. It cost $20 and came with no side dishes: just a piece of bread on a plate (the eggs you see were ordered extra).
Next to me, a lady ordered pancakes that looked like a young child made them. Farther away, I could tell that the hamburger buns were all wrong.
The menu is also poorly thought out. They had few proteins other than rainbow trout. The pasta was, of course, as pretentious as can be. Moreover, due to the no-tipping policy, the prices were sky-high.
I walked out and went down the road to Upland for a nice burger (see below).