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Tamarkin and Meyer Disagree on Tribute; Vettel Gives Next Three Stars

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Photo: Tim Hiatt

David Tamarkin thinks that although Tribute got off to a rough start, it has recovered nicely. The room and the menu aren't anything special, but the real "climax arrived with the food." The sweet corn custard is "cool" and "smooth" and the beet salad with a smoked-trout puree "elevated it above cliche." Even if some of the menu items are better suited for fall than summer, overall Tamarkin leaves feeling the food is "satisfying." [TOC]

Kristina Meyer from The Reader has an entirely different experience at Tribute. Unlike Tamarkin, she found that the kitchen misfired on multiple occasions leaving the waitstaff in the "awkward position of improvising excuses for oversights and omissions." Meyer finds the hamachi crudo, "like a white-bread version of Chilean ceviche." The duck breast came out a "rubbery rare" and the patty melt ordered medium rare came out more like "seared tartare." Unfortunately it didn't get much better with dessert, "as the warm shortbread cookie served with kaffir lime custard tasted past its prime, leaving a rancid butter aftertaste on the palate that not even a cup of Intelligentsia coffee blend could erase." [Reader]

Phil Vettel enjoyed his 'Tour of Thailand' at Next but gave it three stars as opposed to the four he gave Paris. He thought that, in a way, this current menu "takes more risks than its predecessor," given that more of the dishes were familiar to the masses. The tom yum soup made with a pork base "has a richness and depth I've encountered no where else; I want all my tom yum this way from now on." The beef cheek panang curry also stood out, "its myriad flavors clean and distinct." The final courses are also "standouts." Overall, the first Next menu transported diners to a place they could never visit, this Thai menu leads them through familiar territory and manages to make the experience seem new." [Tribune]