Sunday, June 19, 2011

Michelin in South Slope

For months, I have been skeptical of the Michelin mentions in my neighborhood. To me, Thistle Hill Tavern is too inconsistent - a great sounding menu but bizarre seating norms ("it will be just about 5 minutes" when the restaurant is half-empty), food that sometimes is fabulous but difficult to eat (roasted seeds! yum! in a cast iron pot so hot I burn my fingers every time I stick them in the pot to get the seeds ...) and sometimes isn't delicious at all. We ate there several times, and then I gave up (even after finding out one of the owners was Fat Mike. Punk In Drublic tunes float through my mind ... but those almonds in that weird pasta dish just ruin it!). Now, they have a B rating. Still staying out of there.

Then there's Fonda - if Dona Tomas moved to Brooklyn, decreased in flavor profiles, and added lots of raw onions, you'd have Fonda. The cheese (without chorizo) and dipped in home made tortillas is good, but the mains all taste the same - veg, shrimp, Liam comparing to meat, we find they're pretty similar. Last visit I had to eat a bite of salty shrimp, then dip into refried beans for relief from the salt, then into the tasteless rice, then decide I should focus on texture, not flavor. Cafe de olla is a good way to end the meal, and desserts are ok, but last time I was there the cilantro in the fresh made guacamole was so musty my resentment for $10 guac increased. Also mentioned in Michelin.

I get it - some anonymous Michelin rater lives in my hood and skulks around eating at these places and nominates them at some meeting just to get them mentioned since there are less places around here mentioned, but really? Are there not standards any more for mentions? And now that there are ratings for cleanliness, are we not paying attention? I've lost a little faith in Michelin - but now we're moving up the Slope so I'll never run into this anonymous reviewer anyway ......