Brett Anderson at the Times-Pic made his way back to the Rib Room to update his review there and assess the changes or progress made since the arrival of chef René Bajeux last May. Writing that, somehow, "not much appears to have changed" while "something is definitely different," Anderson gives three beans to the restaurant inside the French Quarter's Omni Royal Orleans Hotel.
He got (as one is presumably supposed to get) prime rib:
I’ve eaten prime rib at The Rib Room at least a dozen times in the past decade or so, most recently in late December, when it appeared — as it always does — a deep shade of blush in a shallow pool of dark brown au jus, a spoonful of severely potent fresh horseradish, served tableside by our waiter, at the edge of the plate.Bajeux, who was known for bringing "locals as close to the comfort food bliss found in Parisian bistros as any local restaurant this millennium," isn't exactly making his presence felt there. The menu's been updated, but, according to Anderson, it leaves fans of Bajeux's culinary skills wanting more substantive change.
And then there's the service at the Rib Room, with which Anderson seems to be pretty unhappy: "The competency of the service today varies wildly, from suavely expert to fascinatingly clueless." But the service redeems itself with its "quality wine program," which Anderson writes deserves "special mention."
But in the end, Anderson writes that the Rib Room is still doing what it's been doing for over 50 years, and that that's not necessarily a bad thing. The prime rib will still make diners feel "flush in an old-money sort of way," and the place is, "for better and worse, as good as it ever was." Anderson just wishes there was more Bajeux: "The chef may be back, but I still miss him."
· Rene Bajeux Takes Over the Rib Room, Earns Three Beans [TP]
· All Rib Room Coverage on Eater NOLA [-ENOLA-]