Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than The Good Fork

Perilla tried to be sober and sane, and what was the result? One star from Frank Bruni. But thats still pretty good for a first-time effort, even by a Top Chef. [NYT]

Its no surprise Alan Richman approves of Balthazar, given his fondness for insouciance in restaurants. He all but opens the floodgates of his enthusiasm for Keith McNallys flagship. [Bloomberg]
Related: Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?

In an apparent effort to differentiate the two once and for all, Andrea Thompson considers both the Farm on Adderley and Flatbush Farm in one column. But read closer, and only one entre is mentioned at each place, a disservice to both. [NYer]

Peter Meehan visits chowhound shrine Kebab Caf in Astoria and finds all as it was before the places low-impact renovation the slow-moving, eccentric, and brilliant Ali is a kind of Queens counterpart to Di Faras equally slow-moving Dom DeMarco. [NYT]

Randall Lane loves the space at Hudson River Cafe almost as much as the locals do, but he finds the food only so-so. We see the makings of future write-up scripts here. [TONY]
Related: New Bourgeoisie Magnet Opens in Harlem

Brand-new seaport gastropub Nelson Blue is totally true to the cuisine of New Zealand, Paul Adams reports in his largely positive review. Not that New York has been hungering for Kiwi cookery or anything. [NYS]

Ryan Sutton hits the latest Peter Luger knockoff steakhouse, DeStefanos and says that the steak isnt that great. Not a good omen for future success, but steak quality tends to be inconsistent even at Luger, so another critic might find otherwise. [Bloomberg]

As a UT alumni, Robert Sietsema considers himself an expert on barbecue and says that Hill Country measures up to its source, Kreuz Market in Texas. But he also calls them out for lousy chicken and boring pork chops, which is something few other critics have thought to do in their rave reviews. [VV]