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Update: BLT Market


Note: Click here for a more recent visit to BLT Market.

We last visited BLT Market on opening week, finding it promising but not yet polished. Since then, the reviews are in, most of them favorable (Platt, Cuozzo, Lane, Tables for Two).

Frank Bruni issued a peculiar dissent, relegating the restaurant to Dining Briefs (i.e., not a full review). He found much of the food very good, but called chef Laurent Tourondel “a slacker” for opening “assiduously promoted, trend-conscious restaurants” instead of making the “real impact on the city’s dining scene” that he’s capable of.

I agree with Bruni to an extent. My meals at the BLT restaurant brood have generally been very good (with a few odd lapses), but you always feel you’re getting something less than Tourondel’s best effort. With his large restaurant family now numbering fifteen, he cannot be spending much time at any one of them.

Nevertheless, you’ll pass a happy time at Tourondel’s latest New York restaurant, BLT Market, though you won’t get out cheaply. On a recent visit, Amish Chicken ($30) was among the less expensive entrées. Rock shrimp risotto ($36) and a pork chop ($38) were both wonderful, but no one would call them bargains at a restaurant this informal. Cocktails at the bar (technically part of the hotel, not the restaurant) were staggering: $16 for a Whisky Sour, $17 for a Negroni.

The menu has been expanded to include separately-orderable side dishes that it lacked before—always a sure way to plump up the bill (though we didn’t bite). At all the BLT restaurants, the menus are printed on thin, cheap paper with a half-life that couldn’t be more than a day or so. So why are the specials printed on a separate sheet of paper, of which we were given only one copy? Surely a restaurant so expensive could get this right.

We were on our way to a show, so I was pleased to find that they got us out in an hour without rushing. The amuse-bouche was the same pigs-in-a-blanket as before, but more enjoyable this time. The garlic bread is still superb.

BLT Market  (1430 Sixth Avenue at Central Park South, in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, West Midtown)

Food: **
Service: *½
Ambiance: *½
Overall: **

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