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The Payoff: Pamplona

Today, Frank Bruni awards two stars to Pamplona:

The publicity pitch and chatter that attended the transformation of the not-so-old restaurant Ureña into the not-exactly-new restaurant Pamplona boiled down to something like this: the chef Alex Ureña gets real…

Pamplona is Ureña with an attitude adjustment, and I emphasize the word adjustment. Mr. Ureña hasn’t wholly reinvented the restaurant or himself. He’s still interpreting Spanish cuisine, and — lucky for us — still indulging his fanciful impulses.

Bruni has never been a fan of fine dining, so I’m not surprised that chef Alex Ureña managed to hold onto two stars, despite dialing down the ambitions of the restaurant. Bruni’s two stars are consistent with my own impression, when I visited a couple of weeks ago.

The Eater oddsmakers are seldom off by much, but today’s review was an exception, with Eater actually offering better odds on zero stars than two. On our hypothetical $1 bets, New York Journal wins $5 at 5–1 odds, while Eater loses a dollar. And for the first time in quite a while, NYJ’s won–lost record has caught up with Eater’s.

          Eater        NYJ
Bankroll $60.50   $63.67
Gain/Loss –1.00   +5.00
Total $59.50   $68.67
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 24–7   24–7

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