New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo has filed a zero star review of Eat, the restaurant doing "silent" Sunday dinners for hipsters in Brooklyn. Cuozzo finds the food in the four-course organic, locavore dinner "amateurish," and suggests that a "no tasting" concept might be a better idea for the restaurant. Cuozzo also takes issue with the sparse decor which creates an atmosphere of "closet-like void." On the subject of the restaurant's "instantly famous" silent dining gimmick, Cuozzo quotes Eater founder Lockhart Steele: "Novelty is everything in a certain corner of the dining world, no matter how fleeting ... Dining in the dark, dining without talking — all that's left is eating without eating."
Eat chef Nicholas Nauman apparently spent time in a Buddhist monastery several years ago, which he cites as a source of inspiration for the silent dining concept. Cuozzo speaks with practicing Buddhist and three Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert on the concept of eating quietly. "When I want to eat in silence, which happens sometimes, either I stay at home or I go to a monastery," says Ripert. "But when I go to a restaurant, it's to enjoy and share good times with friends and talk at the table." Cuozzo ultimately concludes that the sub-par food and "tedious" dining experience of don't justify a single star. Maybe loud restaurants aren't so bad after all?
· Bland Cuisine and Atmosphere Don't Boost Eat's Silent Dinners [NYP]
· All Steve Cuozzo Coverage on Eater [-E-]
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