When it comes to Salt Bae, turns out there’s knowing how to season your food, and then there is knowing how to make your food taste good.
The Turkish butcher turned celebrity chef (real name Nusret Gökçe) opened the latest branch of his worldwide steakhouse chain Nusr-Et in New York last week.
As you would expect, the restaurant is heavy on performance art, with Salt Bae happy to oblige diners with his signature move — though whether you want someone’s bare hand seasoning food you’re actually about to eat is another matter.
Eater’s Robert Sietsema details his dining experience in often excruciating detail with scenes like “liberally lubed up the gloves with oil” that should never appear in a food story. There was also a “braggart waiter” and underwhelming food in too-small portions that left him and his dining companion still hungry after a $320 tab.
The New York Post was also not charmed, calling Nusr-et “Public Rip-off No. 1.”
Dinner for food critic Steve Cuozzo’s party of three came to $521, including one cocktail and one “glass of bad wine” per person.
A combination of poor service and unimpressive food rounded out the scathing review, from the “days-old iceberg lettuce” and “tasteless goat cheese” salad to “high-school-grade french fries” that arrived 20 minutes before the fatty, “shoe-leather” ribeye.
Better dishes are to be had, but at prices like $110 for a two-person order of short ribs and $30 for a cheeseburger.
So before going, maybe ask yourself: What price, internet fame?