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Pete Wells Wishes Wolfgang Puck Had Come to NYC in the '80s

The Times critic recommends sticking to the steaks at Wolfie's new steakhouse

Cut by Wolfgang Puck
Nick Solares

For much of his career, Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Puck has been considered a "non-stop innovator," and a pioneer of California cuisine. But at Puck’s latest venture, the sixth location of his global steakhouse Cut, Pete Wells finds that the menu is largely uninspired, and not what one might expect from the celebrity chef. While nothing about Cut is "less than good," Wells can’t help but wonder what Cut would be like if Puck would have opened in New York in the 1980s. Here is the Times critic on some of Cut’s redeeming qualities:

Cut uses a technique for cooking its varieties of beef that I strongly endorse. Steaks are grilled over wood and charcoal and then blasted under a broiler running at 1,200 degrees, roughly hot enough to melt aluminum. The meat arrives with a textured, almost brittle outer bark, like the crust on a really great loaf of sourdough.

Impressively tender and flavorful veal tongue with artichokes and white beans was served at the original from the start, and it is worth repeating. So is the lobster and crab Louis, the chilled shellfish set over a coaster of panna cotta pointedly spiked with horseradish.

Still, a few misses squeeze their way onto the menu, including a bone-marrow flan that "didn’t taste much like marrow," and steamed salmon that reminded Wells why he lost interest in Asian fusion. And while other dishes can seem unfocused or overcomplicated, the restaurant’s tried and true steakhouse items are "excellent." He gives Cut one star.

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