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The Payoff: Kefi

Yesterday, Frank Bruni dropped a star on the underwhelming Kefi. No review better demonstrates the debasement of the New York Times star system. One star is supposed to mean “good,” but in Frank’s hands it usually means “mediocre”:

A friend and frequent dining companion often complains of palate fatigue, that deadening of all response when too many of a restaurant’s dishes have too little nuance and a surfeit of the same bold — even bullying — notes.

During some meals at Kefi, a madly popular Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side, what I experienced was more like palate mononucleosis… .

The all-Greek wine list is as price-sensitive as the food, and the atmosphere is pleasant, if Greek-restaurant predictable: a white-and-blue color scheme, decorative ceramics, that sort of thing. Try not to sit at a table by the bar, where the human traffic is most snarled.

And know that the scale and manner of the cooking Mr. Psilakis is doing here differ from what he’s done elsewhere around town — or what he did at the original Kefi. There, many of the same dishes were executed with more precision and restraint. It was a lesser stage, but it was a greater one.ed to mean “good,” but Bruni constantly gives it out to mediocre places:

We and Eater both took the one-star bet, winning $4 on our hypothetical one-dollar bets.

Eater   NYJ
Bankroll $116.50   $137.67
Gain/Loss +4.00   +4.00
Total $120.50   $141.67
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Won–Lost 54–25   56–23

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