Pete Wells found that fast-casual restaurant Made Nice kind of shows signs of its fine-dining sister restaurants Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, but it is most certainly not in the same league.
The Times critic filed a zero-star “satisfactory” review of the new Flatiron restaurant on Tuesday, saying that the pork confit here and chicken do not nearly match up to the versions at Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s other restaurants. Not only that, the food “doesn’t just suffer by comparison; it can also suffer all on its own,” he writes:
The curried cauliflower is said to be a callout to another standby at the NoMad. I don’t remember trying it there, so I can’t say whether it’s so unevenly cooked that some pieces are brown and collapsed while others are white, crunchy and barely cooked. That’s how the cauliflower at Made Nice was, though. It tasted nothing like a real curry, and only a little bit like curry powder.
Another dish is called chicken rice. The rice tastes like tomatoes and needs salt. The chicken seems exhausted. Imagine a chain of Cuban restaurants started by retired employees of the Olive Garden. This could be their arroz con pollo.
Wells did enjoy three of the dishes, including a watermelon and quinoa salad, the steak salad, and a smoked salmon salad. He also liked the milk and honey soft-serve sundae for dessert, and Made Nice made for better-than-average delivery fare, he added. Still, the in-restaurant experience doesn’t always work.
Eater critic Ryan Sutton also reviewed Made Nice on Tuesday. In his review, he similarly found that the magic of the world-renowned restaurant team was notably absent at its fast-casual project.