3 West 18th Street, 212-366-1414
Sure, everybody loves a winner—until he never loses. So when Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the city’s most effortlessly successful chef, opened 66, it’s no wonder the knives came out. One critic invoked condoms to describe the texture of a dumpling dish. A certain glossy-magazine editor went ballistic when not paid proper homage (or handed an ashtray). This one didn’t like the service. That one said you can’t see everyone because of all the walls. Fine, stay away. Some people happen to like the thoroughly modern and soothing Richard Meier design, knowledgeable waiters who treat everyone with equal deference, and a menu that wonderfully reinvents a once-exhausted cuisine. You will not find dungeness crab with lotus-seed crust, lobster E-Fu noodles, and pea-shoot-and-tofu dumplings at your neighborhood Empire Szechuan, no matter who you are.
Best Bitched-About Restaurant We Really Like
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
Where can you find the city’s top dog groomer? Last-minute tailor? Beef tongue? We eat, drink, dance, shop, shvitz, and trampoline our way around the city, not to mention poll scores of in-the-know colleagues, hard-partying friends, opinionated family members, and, this year, a team of guest expert bloggers to bring you answers to all of the above questions, and hundreds more, in the form of our annual “Best of New York” issue.