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The Payoff: Adour

Today, Frank Bruni awarded the expected three stars to Alain Ducasse’s newest restaurant, Adour:

Alain Ducasse may never live down the grandiose way he first swept into town, granting blinkered New Yorkers a vision of French elegance few of them had ever experienced, expected or, for that matter, asked for…

This time around he’s taking a less flamboyant approach, and he’s eager to get out that message, so much so that advance reports on Adour, named for a river in France, made it sound like an embellished wine bar.

Right. It’s a wine bar the way Lourdes is a roadside shrine, and it proves that even a dressed-down Mr. Ducasse is still a puffed-up anybody else…

But you’ll notice a relative straightforwardness in many preparations that distinguishes Adour from its Essex House ancestor. And among a well-edited collection of dishes that range from quietly appealing to quietly stunning, you won’t notice that forebear’s ostentation.

Someone seems to have put happy pills in Frank’s coffee. He has already awarded three stars to four restaurants this year, two of which are new. Last year, he gave out three stars only six times all year, and they were all re-reviews. This is also the fourth time this year that Frank has filed a reasonably favorable review of a French restaurant, a cuisine he has not historically been fond of.

We and Eater both win $3 on our hypothetical one-dollar bets.

              Eater       NYJ
Bankroll $83.50   $94.67
Gain/Loss +3.00   +3.00
Total $86.50   $97.67
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 37–15   37–15

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