That is one of the funniest and most brilliant reviews I’ve ever read. Will you go back, just once? So I can listen to you do the play-by-play as we dine, facing AWAY from the windows. Heck, let’s make it a party and have some other OG Chowhounds join us. It would be fucking fantastic.
I think you should face the food and describe it, and @PorkyBelly has to do a PorkyCourtRoom Drawing™ based on your description… sort of like reverse Pictionary.
Very well stated. Would add Burnt.
A few dishes were quite excellent, but the few goods just don’t make up for the rest, IMHO.
I had an excellent bite of dry - but very tasty - turkey and a hirami (baby flounder) with salted plum starter that I loved. Also liked the endive with smokey cheese, tarragon and lime dish.
The space, and the pacing of the meal (in different environments) as well as the utensils, and the plates/bowls are just exquisite. Also, I doubt there is any other place in the world that does plating as artistically as Vespertine. The wines were wonderful and the service was fantastic.
But, my god, I just cannot imagine many people enjoying most of that food. It is very, very "aggressive."
Still, I must say, I am very happy I went. I think he is doing something very avant garde. Like many other artists it may take him - and us - a while to appreciate it - or it will go down in flames - but the courage to do something truly new and different is admirable (if not always very edible).
So it sounds like he’s asking diners to question the fundamental purpose of food?
Some of the early snacks/appetizers were really wonderful as well - krispy kelp, mango, some kind of fermented plum. But as the meal moved on, gradually, many of the flavors become monotonous and/or off-putting to me. One of the two deserts was a bases-loaded home-run as well.
I do not know about that. He is serving a challenging tasting menu in a very beautiful, and dramatic setting, with artistically/architecturally informed dinnerware and plating and with an exceptional level of service for a hefty price. The accessibility of much the food is my issue; fortunately, that is one thing he could really improve fairly easily (if he cares to accept any criticism/feedback). He knows how to make much more crave-worthy food if he chooses to.
Is it busy?
To a certain extent, that’s sort of my point. Outside of “pure” nourishment, we expect food to be “accessible” and, well, tasty. But I think he’s exploring the culinary equivalent of atonal music. As you wrote, he can create tasty food, but he clearly chooses not to (and seems uninterested in it, in this setting). And so one wonders what sort of artistic statement he’s trying to make w/ food that is gorgeous but not what most people (at least in industrialized nations) expect.
I agree, I respect the vision and exploration… although I’m not interested in experiencing it firsthand myself.
Hard to judge - it appeared to me that they stagger arrival/seating (in what seems like 15-20 minute intervals) which allows maximal attention to each party. I found that quite innovative, actually. If I had to guess I would say it was 85% full last night.
Hey everyone, just fresh off a visit to Vespertine last night. I don’t want to get into too much detail but I’m going to say there were some highs and there were some lows. The experience isn’t that weird or crazy ultimately, and some of the food was quite good. Service was great. Wines and pairings were super good. The music really annoyed me after 2 hours, and we ended up staying at the property for about 4.5 hours.
I think what Kahn is trying to do is actually pretty admirable and ambitious, despite all the chatter and noise. That said, it’s an expensive experience. If you want pure culinary pleasure something like Melisse or N/Naka will serve you better. If you’re down to try something more along the lines of Alinea, then Vespertine is the best thing we have until Dialogue opens.
I think we had a lot of the same dishes. I also liked the turkey and the hirame. A lot of the dishes had a ton of richness/creaminess/cheesiness and bracing acidity that I just couldn’t get over. But the plating is world-class.
Those desserts were superb. Desserts are Chef Kahn’s forte.
agree, one of the desserts was fantastic.
I’m beginning to think this is the correct way to approach the Vespertine experience.
I love the rest of you, but my table only seats eight.
totally agree with @matthewkang on limiting the details here (as that seems to be the Chef’s desire).
And, in any case, those details will in all likelihood be completely on another night anyhow.
You are too kind. But if you are also paying, then continue to be kind.
Vespertine sounds like Sigor Ros in culinary form.
Maybe the Addilantis will sway me. Maybe.
If it does, It Took the Night to Believe.
Begin like a violin, end like Leviathan.