You know that we are huge fans of Jose Andres, both as a restauranteur and as a human being. We’re clearly not alone, because Jeff Bezos gave him a cool $100 mil just for being an exceptional of the latter. So, when The Bazaar New York opened up, we worked SevenRooms hard to get a coveted ressie. This is the review of Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar New York.
First and foremost, I love everything about Jose Andres. I aspire to not only to develop my kitchen skills to a fraction of his talent but also to be as good of a person as he is. Whenever there’s a crisis, Jose Andres and his World Kitchen Foundation are some of the first on the ground. He sticks to what he knows best which is feeding people, and stays out of the fray of politics. They just don’t make individuals like him anymore who care so genuinely about humanity. If we had more people like Jose Andres in the world, we wouldn’t be so upside down right now.
On his mad skills as a chef, I have always loved his restaurants. Spanish Diner is my go-to for the best tortilla Espanola and pan con tomate in the city. I love Zaytinya in Washington DC. One of my favorite dining experiences of all time was when The Bazaar was in the SLS Hotel in LA. Every bite that came out of the kitchen was just pure magic. So when I heard that The Bazaar NYC was opening, I was all in.
I’ll have to cut to the chase on this review of The Bazaar New York. It was not as good. I was starving and it got to the point where I just wanted the food to stop. I went during the United Nations week and there were a lot of Secret Service and security detail around. They heard my comments and helped direct me to their favorite slice shop around the corner.
There are two components of The Bazaar to analyze. First is the physical room itself, which is gorgeous. I’m more into clean lines and neutral aesthetics, but the deep reds, velvet, blue accents, rich drapery, and Murano chandeliers were gorgeous. There was a bordello-esque yet Spanish feel to the place, kind of like Manero in Madrid. I also liked that while the dining room was large, you could see straight from one end to the other. So, it felt more like a grand special occasion restaurant from the moment you walked in.
What surprised me though was how at least 30% of the tables were empty, and yet it was impossible to reserve online. Maybe that was by design because of staffing, but for a Friday night, it was strange. That brings me to the second component of the atmosphere, which is the crowd. No one seemed like they were New Yorkers, or at least people who lived in Manhattan. So, for a room that wasn’t very full, there wasn’t good people watching. I get it; tier 2 models don’t eat, but they would have fit in perfectly given the portion size of the dishes.
The lack of good people watching started in the bar, which is on the first floor of the restaurant. There were a few conversations I overheard, mainly an out-of-towner complaining about the $35 cocktail and the like. (More on that later). I get it that the restaurant is in The Ritz, but an out-of-towner vibe prevailed everywhere you looked.
Food + Beverage
Let’s remember first that I loved the food at The Bazaar in LA. It was inventive, unique, well-executed, and delicious. From the moment I sat down at The Bazaar New York and ordered my beloved caviar cone, the food was off. I had been stalking all the Instagram posts of beloved chefs and their Bazaar New York food porn. They all raved about the food, but I just don’t get it. Every dish that came out tried too hard. The tortilla de camarones wasn’t a Spanish tortilla at all, but rather a rice cracker with little flecks of shrimp that tasted like nothing. It was three bites total but I had a hard time wanting to even finish it.
The meal continued to go downhill from there. We ordered the chicharron that was served with a foamed yogurt dip that had an everything bagel-like topping. Cool idea, but anticlimactic once it hit the palate. The croquettes with Iberico were nothing to write home about, Same on the short rib, which you could have ordered anywhere. I contributed the clams to the table, which were a creamy, heavy mess. I didn’t even finish the food, and at that point, didn’t want to order anything else but I was starving.
The service was well-meaning, but again there was something off. There wasn’t the polish that you would expect from a high-end venture like this. You could tell everyone from the hosts who check you in downstairs at the bar, to the waitstaff have their hearts in it. They tried hard, but it was like the bench was playing, not the starters. Kind of like when Grant Achatz’s Alinea posted up at the Mandarin Oriental, he couldn’t keep up his standards because of all the Union rules. Not sure if this is the case with The Ritz, also as a larger hotel. But it’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes, where I just don’t get all the praise within the culinary world for The Bazaar New York. The praise for Jose Andres as a chef and human, yes, but this venture is a dud.
Overall: 6/10. I’ve never been so pained to give a rating as I seriously heart Jose Andres.
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Q: Where is Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar NYC located?
A: Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar NYC is located in The Ritz Carlton Nomad at 35 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001.
Q: What are the hours of operation of Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar NYC?
A: The hours of operation of Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar NYC are as follows:
Q: What kind of food does Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar NYC serve?
A: Jose Andres’ restaurant The Bazaar NYC serves molecular and gastronomic Japanese and Spanish-inspired cuisine.