Yesterday, Sam Sifton awarded the expected two stars to Oceana, finding that in the move to larger digs, it had lost a star along the way:
More recent meals in the new Oceana, which opened around the corner from Del Frisco’s in the McGraw-Hill building in August, reveal a different scene: a retort to all those who thought the old Oceana was cramped and outdated, a little too much actually like a steamship. It is now a massive restaurant, open and white and blue and tiled, with enormous lamp fixtures that throw light into every crevice of the room, with giant flowers to soften that and beneath them deep leather booths with velvet backs and walnut trim…
Those who order carefully can partake of fabulous meals. They will certainly drink good wine, off a whites-heavy list that is ably negotiated by both waiters and sommeliers alike. But if the Oceana of old was a pleasant, shipshape room with elegant food and a caring touch, the new version is a high-functioning luxury mill, designed to service pre-theater crowds and to celebrate corporate success on expense-account dimes. It is in some ways a very good restaurant. But the room ensures that it is not entirely a pleasant one.
Although this counts technically as a demotion (since the old Oceana had three stars), the review finds plenty of things to like. Still, the chef and the owners are no doubt disappointed.
We and Eater made the identical two-star bets, winning $3 against our hypoethetical one-dollar wagers.
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Life-to-date, New York Journal is 72–29 (71%).