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The New York Times’ Pete Wells Returns to the Beekman Hotel

The New York Times’ Pete Wells Returns to the Beekman Hotel


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Two months after Pete Wells reviewed Tom Colicchio's Fowler & Wells in the Beekman Hotel and less than a month after his treatise on modern hotel dining, the New York Times reviewer returns to the Financial District hotel and turns his attention to Keith McNally’s Augustine. The French-American restaurant doesn’t fare as well, walking away with only one star as compared with Fowler & Wells’ two.

McNally follows the template that has served him so well at the Odeon, Balthazar, and Pastis. The chefs from Cherche Midi, Shane McBride and Daniel Parilla, even reign over the kitchen again. From food to décor, Augustine plays by the McNally rules.

By unanimous consent, atmosphere is Mr. McNally’s great, almost unrivaled strength. Just as the James Bond movies move from one location to another, all of which feel exactly like Bond movie locations, Mr. McNally’s dining rooms are all different and yet somehow the same. He excels at building rooms that evoke vintage Paris — not exactly the real Paris, but the city the way you remember it a year after taking a vacation there.

This atmosphere and the food, though not authentic French, are careful recreations of the template that has served McNally so well. Wells identifies the precept that has held true through all of McNally’s offerings:

the McNally Doctrine: Restaurants don’t need to do new things if they do the old things right.

Where the restaurant seems to lose steam, in the eyes of the reviewer, is in the new dishes. Variations are not quite there yet.

When invention does rear its head, the results are not always spectacular. What dark urge led the chefs to foie gras Augustine, thin slices of foie gras terrine scattered with chopped green beans and artichokes barigoule? And is there a way to get it de-Augustined?

In the end, Wells reaches the same conclusion as the casual diner:

If anybody points out an imperfection, you can say, “Look, it’s just dinner.” This is not the worst philosophy for a restaurant.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Tom Colicchio Changes the Name of His Restaurant After Learning of Its Racially-Charged Meaning

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court.

As the national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments has ignited in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville, chef Tom Colicchio is making a major move to eliminate the racial connotation of his own business.

The Top Chef judge has changed the name of his New York City restaurant from Fowler & Wells to Temple Court. The move—which has been in the works for months and will cost between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the New York Times—comes after discovering that the original name has a dark past.

The restaurant located inside the Beekman Hotel in the city’s Financial District was named after a pseudoscientific institute that used to occupy the same building. Its namesake founders, Edward Fowler and Samuel Wells, subscribed to the idea of phrenology, which posited that the shape of a person’s skull was an indicator of intelligence and mental function𠅊nd was often used as a justification for slavery and discrimination.

WATCH: Tom Colicchio: Chef, Dad … Rock Star?

Times restaurant critic Pete Wells first pointed out the connection in January, and Colicchio has been plotting the name change since it came to his attention. “I don’t think it was a bad idea to start with because we didn’t have any of the information we have now,” he told the Times. “I have a fairly liberal persona and never in a million years would consider myself a racist, so it never crossed my mind.”

Want the ultimate dish on the latest celebrity food news, plus exclusive recipes, videos and more? Click here to subscribe to the People Food newsletter.

The new name comes from Temple Court Building and Annex, the designated New York City landmark that occupied the same space before the Beekman Hotel took it over in 2016.


Watch the video: The New York Times chose the Freakin Rican Pasteles on the Top 10 of 2019 dishes (August 2022).