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Wednesday
Apr042007

The Payoff: The Four Seasons

When Little Frankie BrunBrun was a young lad, his father used to take him to the Four Seasons, where he got “a sweeping sense of the big money to be made and spent in this city.” Yesterday, Big Frank Bruni returned to the stomping ground of his youth, and found that “the restaurant, like so much else, isn’t quite what it was.” Some dishes transported him; others were but a shadow of their former decadent selves.

Mercifully, Bruni spared us his usual assault on fine dining. He did not try to argue that contemporary “savvy” diners are no longer interested in classic luxury. The review included none of the insulting terms he usually applies to such places, like fussy, prissy, or highfalutin. He was, for once, perfectly happy to accept the restaurant on its own terms. He simply found it not up to its former glory.

To the extent the restaurant cares—and it probably does not—the Four Seasons should consider itself fortunate to have escaped with just a three-to-two demotion. The review read at the low end of two stars. From the text alone, a singleton could very well have been justified. Did Frank give the second star for nostalgia? Quite possibly.

We took the two-star bet at 8–3 odds, winning $2.67 on our hypothetical $1 wager. Eater took the three-star bet, losing $1.

       Eater         NYJ
Bankroll $15.00   $19.00
Gain/Loss –$1.00   +$2.67
Total +$14.00   +$21.67
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 5–2   6–1

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