Primehouse's Steak Saves Its Star; BarFry Blasted

The best steaks at Primehouse NY are good enough to earn a single star from Frank Bruni which is saying something, given that he had problems with service, didn't like the other entres, and even found the rib eyes to be less than they ought to be. But the Creekstone strips carried the day, as they always do. [NYT]

The small, porky tapas at Jason Neroni's Cantina seem to impress Robert Sietsema, but his review leaves you with the sense that, croquettes aside, the place is still a work-in-progress. [VV]

Paul Adams dines at Smith's and praises the rich, possibly too rich, appetizers, while frowning over some of the mains. But on the whole he likes the place: Some dishes are excessive by design, others poorly executed in the heat of the dinner rush, and a few, like the pasta, remarkably good and worthy of a return visit perhaps after the first wave of crowds has moved on. [NYS]

In Dining Briefs, things are looking up for One If by Land, Two If by Sea, now under the control of former Picholine chef de cuisine Craig Hopson; Bruni says it's on its way, presumably to a full review by him next year. Radegast Hall and Biergarten: big, with beer and good sausages, according to Peter Meehan, who wouldn't go any further than that. [NYT]

BarFry gets hammered by Andrea Thompson, who delivers the place a huge blow by saying that their titular fried items are lousy: The tempura batter tended to be thick, wet, and tasteless, and turned things as disparate as pumpkin and avocado into indistinguishable lumps. She likes Josh DeChellis's specials all right, but who goes to BarFry to eat salad or octopus? [NYer]