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Deathwatch: FR.OG

Listen. No one likes to see a venue go from Dish to Deathwatch in 8 days, but, then, no one likes to see children starving in Africa either. Life isn't fair, friends. Didier Virot has proven on multiple occasions that he is an excellent cook, but that's not going to get the job done here. FR.OG is by far the worst name for a restaurant in 2007, if not the aught years altogether; it is located on a block that is a lot less prime than it appears (even with its Balthazar views); and the space, about which early reviews are not good, is primarily below-grade. But none of that would have gotten FR.OG Deathwatched where it not for the fact that its cuisine is being billed as 'global', predominantly French (FRench OriGine) with Moroccan and Vietnamese influences.

If anyone out there -- anyone -- can name one restaurant in New York that has successfully combined an expensive design concept with a menu of three so explicitly and deliberately fused cuisines, we'll refer this case to the Deathwatch Appeals Committee. Not good for the case, however: the other French/Moroccan small-box in the area -- smaller and on street level, mind you -- operated by an accomplished French chef didn't make it.

Prognosis/Analysis: InTent FR.OG will last 12-18 months, but by mid-summer she'll be looking to happy hours, drinks specials, theme nights and other Steven Hall PR acrobatics to get the job done.

· The Deathwatch [~E~]

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