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Pete Wells: Zero Stars for 'Awful' Villard Michel Richard

Photo: Krieger/Eater NY

The New York Times' Pete Wells has filed a massive takedown of (the bistro half of) chef Michel Richard's swanky new restaurant inside the New York Palace Hotel, Villard Michel Richard. Using a version of the word "awful" four times in the first four paragraphs, Wells goes on to describe fried chicken as "edible Novocain," a veal blanquette as alternately "rubbery" and "terrifying," and makes one constructive suggestion: "If Villard Michel Richard doesn't make it as a restaurant, it could reopen as the Museum of Unappetizing Brown Sauces."

Wells was so taken aback by the restaurant's awfulness (given the chef's handful of James Beard Awards) that he visited Richard's Washington, DC restaurant Central Michel Richard, and found "in every case, the Washington version looked and tasted better, for the same price or less." NYC's Villard has enjoyed tepid reviews thus far: In December 2013, Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton similarly slammed the restaurant (describing it as "NYC's lousy $700 French dinner"), while New York's newly un-anonymous Adam Platt gave it two stars.

· A Visitor's Luxury Room [NYT]
· All Michel Richard Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Villard Michel Richard

455 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022