Tomorrow, Frank Bruni reviews Matsugen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new traditional Japanese noodle house in Tribeca. Today, the Eater oddsmakers have set the action as follows:
Zero Stars: 15-1The first thing to notice this week is that Matsugen is a lock for at least three stars. Anyone betting below that level is a vendetta-toting ex-JGV employee or crazy or both. Even if Jean-Georges didn't have his stable of four- and three-star restaurants buying him the benefit of the doubt with the Bruni, Matsugen is a crisp, well-calibrated and competent restaurant serving bold authentic Japanese food. Restaurants like this are born with three stars. The real question this week is, Will this be the Bruni's first fresh four star review since Per Se (and his first four star of any kind in more than two years—his last being a re-review of Jean-Georges' flagship, Jean Georges)? Betting on a new four star review is invariably an outlandish endeavor, but Matsugen is absolutely in the running. If on the Bruni's visits it hit all the right notes, it's going to be hard for the Bruntastic to resist. Paradigm changing venues with grade-A ownership and compelling back stories don't grow on trees, people. In fact, to hell with it. We like the odds enough to roll the dice. Eater's taking four stars for Matsugen. Bettors, go with the gut.
One Star: 9-1
Two Stars: 5-1
Three Stars: 3-1
Four Stars: 9-1 ??
· Matsugen [NYT; after 8:00 PM]
?? denotes the Eater bet.