the other critics

Gemma Rewarded for Its Calculations; Tailor Makes a Fan

Frank Bruni, surprisingly grants Gemma a single star. Bruni sees the place as a slicker, less technically accomplished Morandi — an insta-enoteca calculated to the nth degree to please modern middlebrows. Which, we guess, is worth a single star these days. [NYT]

Ryan Sutton is, as usual, the first to review Tailor, which he finds a molecular wonderland of trippy but delicious foods: exactly what a certain kind of restaurantgoer needs to hear to get the buzz going. [Bloomberg]

Moira Hodgson thinks that Alex Ureña's new direction at Pamplona — modern, imaginative Spanish cookery minus the bells and whistles — is exactly what he needed and rewards him with two stars. “So this is bistro food? I don’t care what he calls it, it’s great.” [NYO]

Restaurant Girl goes to town praising midtown ceviche spot Crave Ceviche Bar giving the place an enthusiastic three stars. But it's not the most appetizing review in the world: The chef, we're told, “marinates everything from salmon to filet mignon in anything from aged sherry vinegar to Worcestershire sauce.” Ew! [NYDN]

Most notable among this week's three dining briefs is Bruni's takedown of Orhan Yegen's Sea Salt, which he says is good but not nearly up to the charismatic chef's legendary line of bombastic patter. Bruni even tweaks him for dogging the Ripper at the end: Of his fish cakes, which are “so barren of fish and dense with potato that they could have been mistaken for knishes,” Bruni says, “Mr. Yegen’s right: Mr. Ripert won’t be mastering these.” Oh, snap! [NYT]

Randall Lane gets the most out of his expense account, reviewing Per Se's vegetable menu and finding it — surprise! — exemplary. (Although with the way Lane has been throwing five stars around, Per Se can't be that happy.) [TONY]

The New Yorker sends Nick Paumgarten to review Borough Food and Drink, and his short take is nuanced and thoughtful: what's good about the place (the concept, the ingredients), what's bad (the too big space), and an ending of measured but sincere praise for the food. Of the reviews the place has gotten to date, this one seems to us the most just. [NYer]

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