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The NY Times Liked The Curtains At Romera, But the Food, Not So Much

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  Site Where: 346 W 17th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10011-5020
January 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM | by | ()

Romera is located in the Dream Downtown's basement, and its chef Miguel Sanchez Romera, is a former neurologist who decided to show the world how he thought molecular gastronomy should be done. But judging from Pete Wells' recent review for the New York Times, the various tasting menus, (6-course, $125 ; 9-course, $185; 12-course, $245) sound more like a tutorial in how to make very pretty food art.

Disappointing—and kind of ironic—for the Dream Downtown, which until now had proven to be an exceptionally pretty addition to the NYC hotel scene. A "Romerian mosaic" (the pattern of brightly colored spices and powdered vegetables seen above, and on many of the dishes) would be great to look at in a museum. But for dinner? Folks wanna munch, not ponder!

Wells was apparently so unimpressed by his recent meal there that he even takes to calling the staff "cultlike," and the experience "not pleasurable." And while he praises the design (trickling ponds, hanging curtains, creamy leather chairs), it seems to make him more frustrated that so much of Romera's appeal rests on appearances.

The bathrooms and staircases have little Romerian sayings etched into them, like "I am a doctor who cooks, and not a cook who doctors food." Um, okay. Plus, Romera "signs" each dish with an autograph of three slivers of bell pepper.

For now, we think we'll just stick with the French Toast upstairs. At least we know what we're getting there!

[Photo: Dennis Yermoshin/New York Times]

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