The attentions of New Yorks food staff are divided between modernity and tradition. Gael Greene is vexed with Provence, a reopened French restaurant which was faithfully conventional even in its former incarnation. Rob and Robin, apart from their usual announcements of new places in Openings, extract from Anthos chef Michael Psilakis a comparatively novel recipe for mature dandelion greens. And Adam Platt finds himself caught in the middle of Marco Canoras half-modern, half-classical menu at Insieme.
In his two-star review of Insieme, Platt expresses real admiration for Canoras cooking: His famous lasagne is about as good a version of gourmet lasagne as youll find in the precincts around Times Square, or anywhere else for that matter. But a few dishes fell flat, causing the big man to withhold his rarely granted third star.
The biggest of this weeks openings isnt a restaurant at all, but a Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, long one of the citys best sources for traditional American ice cream. Also in the mix: a new southern restaurant in Soho, Lola, and two French casual joints, Le Barricou and Trois Pommes Patisserie, both in Brooklyn.
Gael Greene sounds more than a little underwhelmed by Provences tiny portions and thin flavors. Which she finds surprising, given how much she enjoyed Five Points, Cookshop, and Barbuto, three restaurants whose provenance Provence draws upon.
And, rounding out the issue, Rob and Robin prevail upon Michael Psilakis to do with mature dandelion greens what he does with all traditional Greek flavors, which is to improve them with more exacting preparations.