This Week in NYC Reviews - February 24, 2006
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.
Also see our roundup of Michelin 1, 2 and 3 star restaurants with links to reviews ...
For a roundup of DC restaurant reviews from DC food bloggers and media, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog ...
- Waiter Rant liked the service and the fluke at Mary’s Fish Camp ... "My fluke’s encrusted in a thick lightly spiced panko coating which delivers a satisfying crunchy resistance before reaching the moist succulent filet. The fish is served atop a chiffonade of brussel sprouts and bacon, accompanied by mashed sweet potatoes and a side of slow roasted elephant garlic. It’s outstanding." ... web site, 64 Charles Street, 646-486-2185 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Metro | Village Voice | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- A Guy in New York likes Tangra Restaurant ... "the Okra Tangra Masala is a truly outstanding dish" ... 3923 Queens Blvd., Sunnyside, NY, 718-786-8008/8181 [mnemex]
- Augieland gave 1,649,728,211 xings to Xing ... "As for the food, Xing claims it is making Southeast Asian cuisine, and I can pretty confidently say you won’t find food like this in Southeast Asia, unless of course you are in a Western hotel that caters to ex-pats pretending they are enjoying the Far East." ... "What Chef Rexhepi is really doing at Xing is reinterpreting the foods Americans consider Chinese, and in some cases Japanese or Thai. This reinterpretation is very well executed and, in a sea of mundane General Tso’s chickens and spare ribs from a foil bag, fills a huge hole that needed filling." ... web site, 785 9th Avenue, [MenuPages | NY Metro | Citysearch] ... and gave 693 Boobbillian stars to Alto ... "The food is truly great and the restaurant takes it's place among other worldwide greats" ... (previous review: Forbes (TWIR, October 7, 2005)) ... 520 Madison Avenue (entrance on 53rd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue), 212-308-1099 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Metro | Village Voice | Gayot | Citysearch]
- NYC nosh also went to Xing ... "favorite dishes of the night were the sliced hamachi in mandarin and sweet chili sauce appetizer, an uncooked preparation of soft triangles of white fish that had us and our two table companions wishing for a larger portion." ... "BBQ Chinese Spare ribs [are some] of the most tender pork we’ve eaten in a long while" ...
- Pascale Le Draoulec says the food at Industria Argentina "delivers as many peaks and valleys as the Andes" ... "had the most luck with dishes that were Argentine to their core, starting with the piping hot empanadas 'saltenas' [and] the sopita, a generous bowl of seafood 'chowder' made sweet and thick with Andean sweet corn, or the roasted pumpkin salad with watercress croppings" ... 329 Greenwich Street, between Duane and Jay Streets, 212-965-8560 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- The Girl Who Ate Everything had a "blackened with cajun mayo burger, which came on an English muffin bun with tomato slices and baby greens toppings on the side" at ZOZO's ... "really liked the soft, chewy English muffin bun and would love it if more sandwiches came that way. One problem I see with this burger is that it's rather small and I think many people could easily eat two...except for $7 a burger (probably more depending on which one you get), people probably won't do that" ... skip the mint milkshake ... web site, 172 Orchard Street, 212-228-0009 [MenuPages | NY Metro | Citysearch]
- Steve Cuozzo asks if you're "weary of buzzy, brand-new restaurants, which are often as dysfunctional as they are hot" ... and recommends 5 "established restaurants where everything actually works" ... Churrascaria Tribeca: "meat roster leapt from 12-15 at a time to 15-18; new entries include skewered grilled duck legs and pork tenderloin" ... 221 West Broadway, between White and Franklin Streets, 212-925-6969 [NY Metro | Citysearch] ... db Bistro Moderne: $50 hamburgers and "delicious, unabashedly French dishes" ... 55 West 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, 212-391-2400 [NY Metro | Gayot | Citysearch] ... Sushi of Gari: "It's the only place I know where, when you order the night's special sushi combo, you're cheerfully asked, 'Is there anything you don't like?' - and not have it held against you if you say yes" ... 402 East 78th Street, between First and York Avenues, 212-517-5340 [NY Metro | Gayot | Citysearch] ... L'Impero: "it's better now than when it opened" ... 45 Tudor City Place, near 43rd Street, 212-599-5045 [NY Metro | Gayot | Citysearch] ... and Tamarind: "is more seasonally oriented than Indian places where menus read like museum pieces." ... 41-43 East 22nd Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, 212-674-7400 [NY Metro | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld say "fine Israeli dining isn’t an oxymoron" at Miriam ... "it does not shove its chicken into pita pockets but rather arranges it just-so atop the flatbread in the manner of a delicately composed salad. To drive home the point that the kitchen specializes in what the menu describes as 'modern Israeli' cuisine, the chef layers the marinated and grilled strips of chicken over fresh spinach, surrounds it with a piquant moat of mango chutney (amba, to shawarma cognoscenti), and tops it with an oven-roasted tomato." ... 79 Fifth Avenue, at Prospect Place, Brooklyn, 718-622-2250 [Citysearch]
- Leo Carey eats raw chicken and goo at Yakitoti Totto ... "raw chicken is best served with an accompaniment--a marvellously aggressive wasabi, chopped very coarse, or pickled plums that impart a smoky flavor" ... "the strangest thing on the menu is not chicken at all, but seaweed. Forget crispy fried nori or pliant hijiki: mekabu comes in a coating of--there’s no other word for it--goo." ... 251 West 55th Street, 212-245-4555 [NYT | NY Metro | Citysearch]
- Moira Hodgson gave 1 star to Dani ... not impressed with the appetizers, and "Things went further downhill when our main courses arrived" ... (previous review: Frank Bruni (TWIR, January 20, 2006)) ... 333 Hudson Street, at Charlton Street, 212-633-9333 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Peter Meehan says dessert has grown up at Room 4 Dessert ... (previous review: Pascale Le Draoulec (TWIR, February 17, 2006)) ... 17 Cleveland Place, between Spring and Kenmare Streets, 212-941-5405 [eGullet | gothamist (pics) | JoonBlog | Citysearch]
- Robert Sietsema reviews two ... Baobab "still rocks. Though the restaurant has pressed the delete button on the palm oil, the bluefish remains well stuffed with herbs, and the orbiting veggies now include cassava, carrots, plantain, eggplant, cabbage, and okra" ... 120 West 116th Street, 212-864-4700 [harlem world news | Citysearch] ... Africa Kine: "lunch features traditional tribal fare, while the evening meal is quasi-French, showcasing wonderful grilled lamb chops (debe, pronounced "dibby," $10), an astonishing eight to a plate; whole grilled porgy with mustard-onion relish; and lackluster chicken brochettes. Still, the most interesting thing we ate were nems. Offered with a fishy-tasting vinegar, these fried spring rolls, bulging with vermicelli and ground meat" ... 256 West 116th Street, 212-666-9400 [DineSite | NY Metro | Veal Cheeks]
- Plate Of The Day disagrees with WhiteTrashBBQ and says Dinosaur BBQ is "great" ... and the plates are "enourmous" ... (previous reviews: WhiteTrashBBQ (TWIR, December 9, 2005), David Rosen (TWIR, December 2, 2005), gothamist (TWIR, November 11, 2005)) ... 646 West 131st Street, 212-694-1777 [NYT | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Mona's Apple said lunch at Dinosaur Bar-B-Q "was a meat-lover's dream" ... and the fried green tomatoes caused her heart to skip a beat ...
- The Hungry Rose ate "'The Big Cheese', a three cheese (Muenster, provolone, Swiss) sandwich with roasted red peppers and garlic, red onions on olive bread" at Say Cheese! ... "but I think I prefer a plain grilled cheese sandwich on that Wonder Bread, even ones with *gack!* Kraft singles" ... 649 9th Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets, 212-265-8840 [MenuPages | openlist | Citysearch]
- Veal Cheeks writes that at Cru "the simpler the dish, the more satisfying" ... "three small bites, a lovely, startling, inspired one-bite Cubano "sandwich," miniaturism at its finest; a squash truffle with Fontina and cocoa nibs, light on the chocolate but a pleasant starter; and an ordinary goat cheese cup. This trio was followed by a salmon spring roll with creme fraiche, simple, clever, profound, and very satisfying." ... but said "a trio of crudos: Kinme Dai (with Micro Shiso, Red Salt, and Olive Oil), Arctic Char (with Smoked Pepper, Apple, Endive, and Vanilla Oil), and Langoustine (with Green Papaya-Truffle Salad, Gooseberry and Gin Sauce) [were] the most elegant and compelling moment of this winter night." ... (previous review: Augieland (TWIR, February 17, 2006)) ... web site, 24 5th Avenue, at West 9th Street, 212-529-1700 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Metro | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch] ... and had dinner at Babbo ... "With the exception of a failed dessert, the dishes were in the upper quintile: 650 culinary SATs. Yet, not a single dish proved astonishing, although the combination of ingredients - as well as Mario's buzz - indicated that this was the goal. True, my companions and I - tough graders all - did not assay the Tasting Menus (either pasta or 'traditional'). Ignore the buzz, and this is a respectable and amiable restaurant that uses Italian ingredients (and Italian labels) to persuade diners that something 'big' is at work. Yet, at the end the dishes are neither transcendent creations nor sublime Italian renditions." ... (previous review: Big Apple Dining Guide (TWIR, October 28, 2005)) ... web site, 110 Waverly Place, 212-777-0303 [MenuPages | NYT | NY Metro | Village Voice | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Frank Bruni gave 2 stars to The Orchard ... and notes: "Its menu sticks to English. The kitchen, without a wood-burning oven, is hidden from view." ... 162 Orchard Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets, 212-353-3570 [Andrea Strong | Gayot] ... and his description of Il Mulino has us scratching our heads as to why it's so crowded ... "But the prices! The swordfish was $55, as was conventionally lovely, unsurprising and unspectacular Dover sole. A side of broccoli rabe was $14, and according to our unspecific check, four desserts plus a double espresso and a cappuccino totaled $85" ... web site, 86 West Third Street, between Sullivan and Thompson Streets, 212-673-3783 [MenuPages | NY Metro | openlist | Gayot | Citysearch]
- The Bruni Digest is enjoying Christmas in February ... "Last week was a shame, a crying shame. Frank Bruni is clearly keeping very close tabs on me, and JUST when (for once!) I get all busy, he launches his massive treasure-trove of satire-hunter’s bounty: his own BLOG. And he throws in for good measure one of the funniest starred reviews in recent memory, where he basically describes the restaurant Telepan as a 17th century Dutch peasant" ...
- Amateur Gourmet had breakfast at Balthazar ... "it's wonderful at breakfast. Not crowded, not noisy, and bright with the morning sunlight, the food is terrific and the prices are way reasonable for such a trendy, hard-to-get-into-at-night sort of place." ... web site, 80 Spring Street, 212-965-1785 [MenuPages | NY Metro | Village Voice | Gayot | Citysearch]
- Kris Ensimger has a list of restaurants near Public Theater, on Lafayette Street between East 4th Street and Astor Place ... Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, 212-539-8500 ... Butter, 415 Lafayette Street, 212-253-2828 [Citysearch] ... Colors (previous reviews: Frank Bruni (TWIR, January 13, 2006), Leslie Casimir (TWIR, January 6, 2006)), 417 Lafayette Street, 212-777-8443 [MenuPages] ... Five Points, 31 Great Jones Street, 212-253-5700 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... Hedeh, 57 Great Jones Street, 212-473-8458 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... Il Buco (previous review: Eric Asimov (TWIR, October 21, 2005)), 47 Bond Street, 212-533-1932 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... Indochine, 430 Lafayette Street, 212-505-5111 ... [MenuPages | 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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