Its an odd food section this week: Gael Greene goes to a restaurant most critics wouldnt go near; four restaurants open all at once, and not one of them in a familiar genre; a chef describes a dangerous encounter with Adam Platts ravenous actor brother; and in the review, Rob and Robin bestow a rare four-star review on the Upper West Sides Kefi.
Rob and Robin are all aglow about Kefi, Michael Psilakiss scaled-down version of the former Onera. Even in the depths of winter, they write, Kefi distinguishes itself with vibrant, vivid flavors that wake up hibernating taste buds.
Related: Psilakis Casting Aside Intellect and Technique [Grub Street]
The Insatiable Critic, meanwhile, returns to the kind of carnal setting that she immortalized in the seventies the bikini-filled scene at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone, where the food turns out to be surprisingly good, courtesy of he-man chef David Burke.
Related: Hawaiian Tropic Zone's Tina Marino Probably Won't Be Sharing Her Life With You [Grub Street]
Openings introduces four totally disparate restaurants: A Catalan restaurant, Mercat, which promises to deliver a regional Spanish food New York hasnt seen very much of; Open the Sesame is inspired by Asian street food; the Inn LW12 is a Canadian gastropub, of all things; and Pio Pio Salon, on the site of the former Sipan, is another addition to the noble family of Pio Pio fried chicken restaurants.
Rob and Robin interview Degustation chef Wesley Genovart, who talks about his fellow chefs, his cooking, and gives this particular pearl: Weve had Adam Platts brother, Oliver, and he was the coolest guy ever He had the eggs, the squid, the lamb, and his wife had the salad. I think he ate her egg, too.
The Short List rounds up three events in which women vintners get their day in the sun.
And finally, In Season delivers the perfect thing for a cold winter night: Chanterelles David Waltucks turnip-and-potato gratin.
The Greek System
Hawaiian Tropic Zone
Restaurant Openings: Mercat, Open the Sesame, The Inn LW12, and Pio Pio Salon.
Wesley Genovart: Chef on the GrillThe Short List: Grape Emancipation
In Season: Turnips [NYM]