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NYT Gives Zero Stars to Fast-Casual Restaurant from Eleven Madison Park Team

Pete Wells is not a fan of Made Nice

Photo by Gary He / Eater NY

New York Times critic Pete Wells may love Eleven Madison Park, but he is decidedly not a fan of Will Guidara and Daniel Humm’s attempt at fast casual. The critic awarded the Made Nice, the much-anticipated fast-casual restaurant from the often celebrated fine dining duo, zero stars today.

Wells laments that the salads and composed plates at Made Nice are are mere shadows of the versions at Eleven Madison Park and the Nomad, the New York City fine-dining restaurants from Guidara and Humm. The chicken at the Nomad “tastes as if it comes from some lost island where the gene that controls delicious chicken flavor has been passed down intact for centuries,” Wells writes. “The Made Nice chicken, by contrast, is ordinary — moist without being juicy, as if all its flavor had leaked out of the meat in order to make the stuffing as gummy as possible.”

But, Wells continues, “some of the food at Made Nice doesn’t just suffer by comparison; it can also suffer all on its own.” There are just three dishes on the menu that Wells would eat again: a watermelon and quinoa salad, the steak salad, and a smoked salmon salad. Made Nice’s soft serve dessert, a take on the milk and honey at Eleven Madison Park and the Nomad, is also worth trying, according to Wells.

Wells admits that the takeout and delivery experience, likely the one for which Made Nice was designed, is passable — “Eating food like this at your desk would not feel like a complete surrender,” he writes — but as a restaurant, Made Nice falls short.

Eater New York’s restaurant critic Ryan Sutton also reviewed Made Nice today, noting that the “unexciting” lunch bowls do little to recapture the magic of World’s 50 Best restaurant Eleven Madison Park.

Made Nice Is Fast and Casual. But Is It Good? [NYT]
Made Nice Doesn’t Have the Eleven Madison Park Magic [ENY]
Pete Wells Gives Made Nice a Goose Egg [ENY]

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