Note: Frederick’s Madison has closed, after its corporate parent filed for bankruptcy.
Frederick’s neither composes an interesting enough menu nor performs consistently enough to lure many diners with no other business in the East 60’s.
Yet Bruni was in a very different world when he wrote:
Frederick’s seems to exist in very large measure for people who want to feel, and want restaurants to make them feel, that they have reached the very apex of privilege. In that pampering clime they find an Upper East Side neighborhood bistro recast as an unabashedly expensive validation of their social and economic stations.
Our take on the ambiance was so much different that I almost wonder if they’ve dumbed the place down since his review. We found Frederick’s utterly forgettable — certainly no “apex of privilege.” And there was no $26 foie gras, nor any $42 veal chop on the menu (both of which Bruni mentioned).
Frederick’s is carb-happy. Two kinds of bread come to the table. A while later, there’s a hot sliced bread with a garlic, olive oil and manchego cheese. About the best thing we sampled was a filet mignon tartar appetizer with dijon mustard ($14), which came with yet more bread (which I left alone). Sea scallops ($26) were about as boring as scallops could be. They came with an over-powering cauliflower puree and raisin sauce (I tasted no raisins). A Pot de Crème trio ($10) was a pleasant dessert.
My companion had an Alaskin King Crab Legs cocktail ($15), Poached Snapper ($22) and Chocolate Tartufo ($10) that were just fine, but unremarkable.
Frederick’s Madison (768 Madison Avenue at 66th Street, Upper East Side)