On Monday, October 5th, Michelin will be releasing its new Guide to the restaurants of New York City. Per Twitter, Michelin has leaked that there will be a new Three Star chef in the City. Who will it be?
I recently returned to dine at Corton. There is no question in my mind that the food at Chef Paul Liebrandt's Corton, having just passed its one year anniversary, is worthy of three Michelin Stars or Four NY Times Stars (it received three from Frank Bruni). The service has also risen to that caliber and the wine list remains outstanding. In addition to Liebrandt' amazing savory plates, Pastry Chef Robert Truitt is doing great work at the back end of the meal. While the room itself is elegant and tasteful, romantic befitting a restaurant of its style, the one element that I see potentially holding it back is the tightness of the table arrangements, especially around the banquettes where the tables are small and almost directly adjacent to one another. It does not have the space of a Per Se or Le Bernardin for example.
It is not even so much that one can often get very chummy with one's neighbors. I have had very positive experiences at that restaurant (and others) that way. No the real question with the tightness of the arrangement and the relatively small tables is that they are too small to fit Chef Liebrandt's generous and beautiful plates. Many courses arrive with multiple small dishes that wind up assuming much very valuable table real estate. That of course, is a very small price to pay for the glorious food and dining experience at one of my favorite restaurants n the planet. However, if it doesn't receive its rumored three Michelin stars and settles say, for two, I believe that will be the reason. Then again, Liebrandt's food, right now, is so sharp, well conceived, well-executed, beautiful and delicious, that Corton may just be able to overcome its relative drawbacks and ascend to the Michelin heights in its first eligible year. I would not be surprised.
Stay tuned for more on Paul Liebrandt and Corton.