239 West Broadway, New York, NY | Directions 1001340.719567 -74.005832
Monday To Thursday From 05:30 PM To 10:30 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:30 PM To 11:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Tribeca
Best left for the business crowd – This was the first time I had tried Paul Liebrandt’s cuisine, and I was not disappointed. The foie gras, cray fish, cod and lobster my wife and I ate were all perfectly cooked and perfectly delicious. For sheer quality of the food, Corton is a must. However, the service did not reach such high standards, although that would have been hard to do, I suppose. A 45 minute wait between finishing appetizers and receiving entrees, with no explanation or apology, was a bit much. The restaurant was informed that we were celebrating my wife’s birthday, but no acknowledgement was made during the meal – a little disappointing for what was hoped to be a special night. Desserts and petit fours were beautifully presented, but bland in taste and far too dense. Service seemed a little distracted and nonchalant on the whole. That probably wouldn’t stop me visiting again, but the restaurant ambience would: very much a ‘business crowd’ and not really a spot for couples. I’d love to see Liebrandt in different surroundings.
In a poor recession, they got the picture – Looking at these other reviews about poor service, perhaps Drew's venture took the point. We had an unforgettable Monday evening characterized by grace, understated elegance, and letting food be the centerpiece. This is not Per Se or Jean Georges. This was "downtown", and such a treat. Anything felt possible in the service, and proved to be so in the food. I was so overcome by the various bouquets of lovingly rendered flavours that I soon gave up trying to identify them. We felt attended to and important, and when we shrugged into our coats at the end, the front of house murmured his thanks and regrets, as if we were esteemed guests at a flawless dinner party, and they were sorry to see us go.
One of the finest New York dining experiences I've had.
A Worthy Successor To Montrachet – I was taken by friends to Corton for Dinner last Thursday, and arrived with great anticipation given the positive media attention the restaurant has received. I had been to Montrachet several times, and had enjoyed it's informality. The new room is a significant departure from it's predecessor, a bit austere, but still welcoming. The tables are comfortably separated, so even though it's a relatively small room, it appears spacious.The food is obviously fastidiously prepared and plated. We opted for the 3 course $76 menu, and while the portions appear small, we all felt we had been well fed at meal's end. The wine list is not as extensive as Montrachet's, but has ample choices that are reasonably priced.
Waste of Money & Time – In a city as rife with delightful food options and culinary superstars, Drew Nieporent's Corton sorely misses the mark. On what should-have-been an otherwise slow Monday evening in the midst of a recession, our party was ignored, insulted, and most of all dissapointed.
Our waiter was curt at best, more akin to a diner waitress than to the suited gentleman he pretended to be. Our food arrived at a glacial pace, no less than an hour between each course, and it required repeated inquiries before we could receive any bread. Most dissapointing of all, however, was the lack of an explanation for the poor service given the number of times we asked whether something was the matter.
Most New Yorker's know that fine restaurants earn their keep with their wine list. We would have been more than happy to oblige, had anyone actually responded to our requests for the wine menu. Even a glass of water was hard to come by. And, the list of complaints goes on.
In a nutshell, while the food was marginal at best (relative to other fine establishments like Daniel, Bouley, Per Se, or Jean Georges) given the dissapointing service and the density of other fine restaurant choices in the area, passing on Corton is an easy decision.
Terrible Front of House/Service – We booked a reservation at Corton via opentable. When I got to the restaurant, I mistakenly gave my last name for the reservation, when in fact it was under my partner's last name. Since the reservation couldn't be found under my name, Nieporent who was running the front of house, began a torrent of abuse in my direction right in front of staff and patrons: sample lines included "don't play games with me", "grow up", and "be an adult." I tried to get a word in to ask that he look the reservation up under my partner's name, but I couldn't even get that across, as he was so relentlessly belligerent. Instead, I was told that I needed my opentable confirmation number to even have him look at the list, this despite the fact that when the reservation was confirmed via telephone no one apprised me of this issue. After leaving the restaurant disgusted at the way we were treated, I calmed down enough to go back in and get my point across. It took some time before he could actually listen to me, and of course the reservation was there under my partner's name. Now surely this could have been easily handled with a simple question: "Could it be under another name?" I have never been treated like this at a restaurant in my life. Truly shocking. So this is not about the food, as I refused to go back in once the absurd mess was cleared up, but surely a restaurant that aims high should also have a professional front of house staff to go with the supposed quality of its food - though as Nieporent kept yelling at me, he's been in the business for 21 years. Let's hope he learns something in the next few years.
Modern French cuisine from molecular gastronomy wunderkind Paul Liebrandt comes to the Tribeca space occupied by Montrachet since the 80s. – In Short
Drew Nieporent helped to create Tribeca with the original Montrachet, and he attempts to recreate the magic with chef-partner Paul Liebrandt. Corton is visually understated, with a minimalist decor, beige walls, and a sleek overall scheme, but that only serves to offset the fireworks of Liebrandt's cooking. The chef drew raves for his progressive (not to say molecular) gastronomy at Atlas and Gilt, but neither restaurant caught on; paired with one of the great restaurateurs in a classic space, this is Liebrandt's best chance to reach the heights his talent deserves.
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