This Week in NYC Reviews - December 9, 2005
Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in NYC Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.
For a roundup of DC restaurant reviews from DC food bloggers and media, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog ...
- Snack can't review Barça 18 (previous reviews: David Rosen (TWIR, November 18, 2005), Frank Bruni (TWIR, November 4, 2005)) ... the "niggling voice of ethics will not be quieted until I say I have no idea if it’s a good value for the money because I never saw a menu and I never paid." ... but "when asked, I have no problem recommending* restaurants." ... the asterisk: "I direct your attention to the email me link up there on the right" ...
- Irene Sax writes that at DuMont Burger, "burgers are the stars of their new publike space" ... but her "favorite sandwich in this temple of red meat was the fried fish, a crunchy filet of skate on a roll slathered with tartar sauce" ... 314 Bedford Avenue, at South First Street, Brooklyn, 718-384-6127 [Citysearch]
- A Hamburger Today asks why Joe's Best Burger "was able to hide away quietly in The Bronx and didn't blow up like it did until it opened a Flushing location?" ... "The burgers here are, unsurprisingly, fast-food style, with thin patties à la McDonald's. Unlike McDonald's, however, these burgers actually kick ass." ... 39-11 Main Street, corner of Roosevelt Avenue, Queens ... and also likes the "pub-style burger" at DuMont Burger, "a spin-off of the well-regarded DuMont on Union Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg" ... "the regular burger is thick, too thick for my taste, especially with toppings added—I don't have a snake's hinged jaw. But it was good—plenty juicy with just the right hint of char from the grill." ... "the onion rings (always a bonus in my book when a burger joint offers them) were absolutely perfect" ... both Irene Sax and AHT found their burgers at DuMont just a bit undercooked ...
- Josh Ozersky is writing a "new, as yet-unnamed book project, a history of the hamburger being written for Yale University Press." ... "I do love the hamburger. The overlap of meat-appreciation and cultural history is the very heart of my comfort zone, a sweet spot right in my wheelhouse. My soul may have shriveled, and my capacity to exceed shrunk to the size of a dime, but within those limits, I feel like a giant!" ...
- Pascale Le Draoulec gave 0 stars to Bobby Van's Steakhouse ... "Dining in the inner sanctum of a genuine bank vault at the newest Bobby Van's Steakhouse, you might imagine yourself a thief in a heist movie. Only you're the one being robbed." ... "clay-colored crab cakes were void of both flavor and muscle tone." ... "Forty-three dollars for two bulky, bland lamb chops served with a side of mint gelée with all the flair of a green Jell-O shot? Moribund mashed potatoes will set you back an additional $10" ... "the meat itself had more cholesterol than charisma. It looked like meat. Smelled like meat. Cut like meat. But it never delivered that primal satisfaction you want from red meat." ... 25 Broad Street, at Exchange Place, 212-344-8463 [MenuPages | Gayot | Citysearch]
- A Year In Food has "yet to have a bad experience at" Sripraphai ... "the fried watercress salad, one of my desert island picks. Every time, it astounds me with its abundance of textures and flavors" ... "The winner of the night though may have been the fried fish, which all of us kept helplessly returning to. The fish itself was fresh and succulent, soft inside and crispy outside, and the sauce served as an addictively interesting complement." ... (previous review: eat drink one woman (TWIR, October 28, 2005)) 6413 39th Avenue, between 64th and 65th Streets, Queens, 718-899-9599 [NYT | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- NYC Nosh had a "very solid meal. All the more impressive that three of us ate manifestly fresh food for about $18 a person, including beer, tax, and tip" at Mandoo Bar ... "mandoo are filled dumplings about the size of a ping pong ball– they’re similar to big wontons with a slightly more doughy skin. Several of the restaurants in Koreatown make their own mandoo, but only one, Mandoo Bar, lets you watch the entire process from dough rolling to filling." ... the seafood mandoos "contained at least one shrimp, and several also offered up nuggets of cooked squid– there was no skimping on the seafood here. Even without any sauce, these seafood mandoo tasted rich, fresh, and complex." ... 2 West 32nd Street, between 5th Avenue and Broadway, 212-279-3075 [MenuPages | NYT | openlist | Gayot]
- Gael Greene liked the "luscious smoked prawns" and "lively salad of squid grilled whole with melon and prosciutto, and first-rate venison with tangy red cabbage" at Pair of 8's ... (previous review: Pascale Le Draoulec (TWIR, December 2, 2005)) ... 568 Amsterdam Avenue, between 87th and 88th Streets, 212-874-2742 [Citysearch]
- WhiteTrashBBQ doesn't understand all the hohah about Dinosaur Bar-B-Que ... "Last time I reviewed Dinosaur I wasn't impressed at all. Well, it hasn't changed." ... the chicken wings "weren't spicy, they weren't smoked, they weren't worth my time" ... a main course of "ham was served on a bed of some of the best grits I've ever tasted. But the ham itself was lack luster and flavorless." ... (previous reviews: David Rosen (TWIR, December 2, 2005), gothamist (TWIR, November 11, 2005)) ... 646 West 131st Street, 212-694-1777 [NYT | Gayot | Citysearch] ... and ate at KC's BBQ and Grill and "can't say that I was glad I did" ... "KC's is NOT a barbecue restaurant. It's a fast food place that uses barbeque sauce on boiled meat that is grilled for appearance sake only." ... 31-22 Farrington Street, Flushing ...
- Beth Butts and Chris Steighner recommend 3 of the tapas at Bolo ... "most delectable was the pork, potato, and goat cheese skewer, which was more like a stacked napoleon with slices of each" ... salted cod fritter and "piquillo pepper stuffed with raw tuna salad" ... 23 East 22nd Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, 212-228-2200 [MenuPages | NYT | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Going Out Gurus: "Anyone who brings an unwrapped child's toy or game can enjoy Richard's famous desserts along with coffee, tea and eggnog." ... Michel Richard Citronelle on Saturday, December 10, 2005, from 1 to 3 pm ... 3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-625-2150
- A.R. Brook Lynn: "until 8 p.m., sushi is two-for-one, as are large bottles of hot sake ($15)" at Yummy Sushi Village ... "Yummy has created some creative maki fusion. My pick is the Mexican roll ($8), with a spicy-tuna-roll base topped by avocado, jalapeños and a zippy red-and-green tobiko garnish." ... "Sushi pizza is good. I mean, really good." ... 95 MacDougal Street, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets, 212-673-8811 [MenuPages | sushi NYC | Citysearch]
- Leo Carey reviews A.O.C. Bedford ... "rich pumpkin soup contains thick strands of sautéed onion, and the outstanding gnocchi come in a sauce of Cabrales cheese, browned on top. A signature dish is suckling pig, a loin with succulent, crispy skin." ... 14 Bedford Street, between Downing and Houston Streets, 212-414-4764 [MenuPages | NYT | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Veal Cheeks, who is rapidly becoming one of our favorite NYC restaurant reviewers, "will eagerly return to" The Tasting Room ... "not quite a tapas bar, but emphasizes small dishes" ... "best of our starters was Effingham Washington Oysters: hyper-fresh bivalves with a touch of winesap apples and its juice with Grenada Seasoning Peppers" ... (I love that "hyper-fresh bivalves") ... "The finest continuation course was surely Line Caught Haddock with Red Pepper, Almonds, and Leeks. This creation far outshone any cooked fish at Le Bernardin, and demonstrated the value of the close attention of an artisan." ... 72 East 1st Street, at First Avenue just north of Houston Street, 212-358-7831 [MenuPages | NYT | Gayot | Citysearch] ... and likes the Bánh Mi at Ba Xuyen ... 4222 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-633-6601 [Village Voice | NY Daily News] ... when visiting Washington, DC, get good Bánh Mi and bubble drinks at Song Que ... and liked the appetizers "Duck Noodle with Dark Soup, a hefty, spicy duck noodle soup with a deep rich flavor, and a One-Bite Salad (I believe it was named Miang Cone) with roasted coconut, peanuts, ginger, lime, red onion, chili, dried shrimp in a lettuce leaf with a dab of syrup" at Pam Real Thai Food ... "best entree was Pla Chili Sauce Khun Pam's [Chef Pam's] Style: a crispy whitefish topped with a hot - and rich - chili sauce. This was a main course worthy of a banquet." ... 404 West 49th Street ,at 9th Avenue, 212-333-7500 [MenuPages | NYT | openlist | Citysearch]
- Peter Meehan hates "yawn-inducing preordained menus like the one at 24 Prince" ... "But wait" ... he liked the meatloaf in puff pastry, which was "something much closer to saucisson en croûte: a diminutive individual portion of meatloaf simply but decisively spiced, wrapped in puff pastry, sliced and artfully splayed on a white plate, and flanked by mashed potatoes and greens." ..."comfort food in a comfortable setting with just a touch of downtown swagger that, despite yourself, brings you back for more." ... (previous review: gothamist (TWIR, November 18, 2005)) ... 24 Prince Street, between Mott and Elizabeth Streets, 212-226-8624 [MenuPages | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Frank Bruni gave 1 star to Jovia ... "None of a half-dozen pasta, risotto and gnocchi dishes to which it devotes the middle section of its dinner menu was an unqualified success during my visits, and several of them were qualified failures." ... "The menu read better than it ate. The dishes looked better than they tasted." ... (previous reviews: Forbes (TWIR, December 2, 2005), Moira Hodgson (TWIR, November 25, 2005), Steve Cuozzo (TWIR, November 18, 2005)) ... 135 East 62nd Street, at Lexington Avenue, 212-752-6000 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... so an NYT 1 star equals a Forbes RED STOP ... he also looks at the coming of Del Posto: "EXPECT $240 rack of veal, $220 shoulder of pork and a $200 whole king salmon for four to eight people, to be carved within view of the table, in a flourish of high ceremony from the Old World." ... sounds like an expensive BUCA, except they better be playing Beniamino Gigli at those prices ... and reports that Bistro du Vent "has been pointed in a culinary direction so different from its original one that it's arguably a new restaurant" ... "prices are still reasonable, at least in the context of Manhattan. The portions have shrunk slightly. The heartiness has given way to meticulous flavor combinations and compositions. The sensibility has become more refined." ... 411 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, 212-239-3060 [MenuPages | Gayot | Citysearch]
- eat drink one woman has lunch regularly at RIB and asks, "Why do people accept and encourage mediocrity when quality and superior atmosphere can be found just two blocks west?" ... is "crazy about the 12 hour brisket sandwich, a good three inch pile of the most buttery cross-grain slices of beef, with caramelized onions and a smidge of horseradish mayo on a lightly toasted brioche-like bun" ... "You'll be fighting with your tablemates over the most genius item on the menu -- an enormous bowl of super-crisp, hot barbecue fries, tossed in that salty-sweet brown seasoning that usually coats BarBQ flavored chips, served with a little cup of garlicky buttermilk dressing" ... 357 West Street, between Clarkson and Leroy Streets, 212-336-9330 [MenuPages | NYT | Citysearch]
- mona's apple says she "bit into a forkful [of Wild Mushroom Napoleon] and my mushroom heart was whole again" at Kitchen 22 ... the "Margarita Salmon Gravlax ... was like a chilled salmon sorbet" ... the roasted chicken "was one of the best chicken dishes I have ever eaten in a restaurant." ... 36 East 22nd Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue, 212-228-4399 [MenuPages | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch] ... and was not impressed by Les Halles Brasserie ... "But the atmosphere is wheeling and dealing to overcompensate for the lack of taste/care put into the food." ... 411 Park Ave South, between 28th and 29th Streets, 212-679-4111 [MenuPages | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- lenndevours has a tip to avoid ruined bottles of wine ...
- Amateur Gourmet had "5 Dumplings for $1 at Fried Dumpling" ... 99 Allen Street, between Delancey and Broome Streets, 212-941-9975 [NYT | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch] ... likes the club sandwich at The Grey Dog's Coffee ... 33 Carmine Street, between Bedford and Bleecker Streets, 212-462-0041 [MenuPages | NYT | openlist | Citysearch]
- Andrea Strong: D'or Ahn "is a little gem." ... liked these appetizers: veal feet, bibimbob, Kimchi pizza ... "Main courses were just smashing—gorgeous to look at and immensely satisfying to devour." ... the black cod "is fabulous—and it gives the sweetness of the cod the right balance of spice and heat. But the Rib Eye took the food-gasm for the evening." ... (previous reviews: Frank Bruni (TWIR, November 11, 2005), Adam Platt (TWIR, November 4, 2005), Moira Hodgson (TWIR, October 21, 2005)) ... 207 10th Avenue, at West 22nd Street, 212-627-7777 [Chowhound | Citysearch]
- NYC Nosh reviews a private dinner club, 4 Course Vegan ... "First, you’ll need to contact the chef by e-mail or telephone and reserve as many spaces as you need. A critical mass of at least ten diners (not all from your party, of course) is necessary for a dinner to go ahead, so be forewarned that a meal might be cancelled if not enough other people make bookings. But with recent interest in supper clubs, I’d worry more about finding an opening. The charge is $40 per person, cash only, with no corkage fee if you bring your own wine (which you should)." ... web site, 718-599-5913
- Twenty bucks a day: "the onions were delicious, the meat was decent" at RUB - Righteous Urban BBQ ... 208 West 23rd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, 212-524-4300 [MenuPages | Gayot | Citysearch] ... and the "chicken leg sided with rice and queso-dusted beans" in pipian sauce was excellent ... and "tamales oaxaqueños ... [was] among the best versions of these snacks I’d ever tasted." ... at San Francisco De Asis ... 1779 Lexington Avenue, between 110th and 11th Streets, 212-427-4440 [Village Voice] ... and likes the burgers at McHales ... "burger is CD-sized and an inch thick, and, unlike most bar burger places, McHale’s overcooks the burger a grade or less"... "It’s a fantastic and delicious hunk of ground beef, falling somewhere in between the melt-in-your-mouth Corner Bistro burger and the more charred Shake Shack burger." ... 750 Eighth Avenue, at 46th Street, 212-997-8885 [NYT | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
Did we miss your favorite review?Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... we're especially interested in hearing from NYC bloggers ...
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