Chef Goes From ‘Gag’ to Great

This week, the food scribes turned in more raves than rants. Naturally, we lead with a rant.

Frank Bruni, bucking the beau monde and betting odds, comes down with both feet on Freemans, the hipster hideaway beloved by downtown boulevardiers. (NYT)

Freemans partner Taavo Somer fires back at Bruni: "Critics have been slamming the Stones for decades, but they like making music and people like listening to it. Our food is simple, but people like it. We're not trying to be Phillip Glass." (Eater)

Paul Adams says, gently, that the recently expanded Tasting Room is experiencing some growing pains. (NYS)

Nicole Davis grumpily notes that the spotty grub and nonexistent service at new beer garden Soho Park hasn't scared off the crowds. (NY Press)

Seamus Mullen, Boqueria's chef, once made Steve Cuozzo "gag," but the critic still gushes over Mullen's authentic tapas. (NYP)

Ed Levine promises you'll never eat in Little Italy again after visiting Frankies Clinton Sputino. (Ed Levine Eats)