Breaking News: David Ashwell Leaving Bistro Le Zinc, Moving to Ireland
Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:15 AM
I've had David's cooking many times at Marcel's, then Brasserie Beck (sometimes when he didn't think I noticed that he saw me (David, I notice everything!)). He was there the first night I had dinner at Mussel Bar, and finally, for two excellent dinners at Bistro Le Zinc.
Tom Sietsema understands that, just as a restaurant is fair game for his criticism, his reviews are also. Neither one is personal; it's just one person's observation and opinion about a business or a piece of writing - nothing more than checks and balances, an audit, or a peer review. Tom, I think you're an outstanding restaurant critic, but in my opinion, your review about Bistro Le Zinc was scaled too low. If I must refer to the star system, you and I are generally calibrated, or maybe 1/2-star apart; in this case, you gave the restaurant one star, and I strongly believe it deserves at least two and a half. (I should add that I'm not personal friends with anyone associated with that restaurant, and have never seen anyone there outside of a restaurant environment. I couldn't even name three people that work there.)
David doesn't embellish his cooking with hot chiles or galanga; his is a classical, old-school, fully reduced - one might even say "stolid" - no-apologies, French style, one that I could imagine in Paris during the fin-de-siècle. If his cooking was a musical instrument, it would be a viol de gambe, working primarily in the low-to-mid range of the register.
There is already a new chef slated to arrive at Bistro Le Zinc, a known area chef, but that won't be until January, and I don't feel I have the right to reveal her identity.
I've never spoken a word with David, although we've recently become Facebook friends. I don't know why I feel so sad that he's leaving, but I do. Thank you, sir, for many a wonderful meal - may the road rise up to meet you.
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:57 PM
Best of luck to him.
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