Last week I had an unlikely dinner do-over: I returned to Ethos where I had been once before and hadn’t had a very good meal. The friends I went to dine with [Hey Kuki and Adhar!] said it was one of their favorites so I decided to give it another chance and I’m glad I did.
My friends are friendly with the owner, Yanni-think Ernie Sabella but Greek. I told him my allergy sitch and he said our waiter Panos would take care of me. I handed Panos my allergycard and he really got it. He suggested that I have a few dishes made in a completely different part of the kitchen, away from the fishy grill [their specialty, my Kryptonite].
I had a braised lamb shank [oh yes] with tomato sauce and chunks of salty sheep's milk cheese. It was delicious. I also tried the lamb bifteki [lamb meatballs-no flour or nuts but a little beer] also yum! I’m so glad I went back. The owner was a doll and invited all of us to be his guests at his outpost in Queens.
All in all, I’m looking forward to returning, the complete opposite of what I felt when I said yes, I’d go.
I wonder if you’re like me: before this I can’t recall the last time I gave a resto a second shot. As Mr. Darcy said to Jane: “My good opinion once lost is lost for ever." Ok, I may not be *that* harsh but any really disappointing experience at a resto: bad/allergy ridden food, poor/surly/rude/distracted or mean service, or horror of horrors, both and I won’t go back. I’m certain I’m not in the minority in feeling this way.
The other AG out there, Amateur Gourmet, makes several valid points about the trouble and the triumphs of food bloggers namely, bloggers often go to a resto once and then review it publicly, good or amusingly, flamingly bad. Professional food critics, who are on the payroll, go to a resto multiple times with guests and try everything. Many times restos will watch out for these reviewers, so they may even get special treatment. As we bloggers aren’t on the company payroll other than our pocketbooks, we don’t have the bankroll to return if the place was bad, or not ready or had an off night. And ultimately, part of the point about blogging is the immediacy of our experience that can often reflect a more real world trial.
I went to Ethos once. I had a Greek salad. It wasn’t special [but no allergies either] but I hadn't returned, and had no impetus to until last week. There’s nothing too unusual in that. It’s fairly typical actually--eh meal so why return in a city that boasts 25,000 restaurants. But it also means that many places that might be great, I may never experience because I ate there on a bad night or ordered the wrong thing.
Perhaps I should change that policy? Hmmm, dunno. There are too many restaurants to try in NYC; the New York Times Dining Section just highlighted many of the new ones this season many of which will rise to the occasion with flying colors. But if someone suggests trying one of their neighborhood favorites, where I've had an "eh" previous dining experience, perhaps I won't automatically rule it out.
495 3rd Ave, New York