Chop Suey Ekes Out a Star; South Gate Ravaged

The view at Chop Suey is worth a star in itself to Frank Bruni, which is a good thing, because the food is an uneven mash of inspiration and clumsiness. [NYT]

Restaurant Girl is happy to have Eighty One on the Upper West Side; if only they did a better job with seafood, she would have been able to give it more than two stars. [NYDN]

Randall Lane is done messing around. This week, South Gate feels his wrath for mediocre food such as gravy sporting the kind of congealed film I associate with bad TV dinners. Two stars (out of six)! [TONY]

Soba Totto encounters an appreciative diner in Robert Sietsema, who likes the yakitori even more than the buckwheat noodles. [VV]

Ryan Sutton, as ever, is on the spot at Ago and makes it sound less than appealing: The bar attracts an annoying, noisy, high-fiving martini crowd. A hard-surface interior amplifies sounds, making it tough to hear; wood chairs provide no comfort. Avoid abominable cocktails like the blue cosmopolitan. The food, he adds, is good and comes in huge portions, but that's beside the point. [Bloomberg]

Elettaria is precisely what I admire, a modern American restaurant with a coherent and confident point of view: So says Alan Richman, not usually a fan of trendy, chef-driven restaurants. But he sees genuine inspiration at work here. A great start for Elettaria's review cycle. [GQ]

Would it be going too far to say that the usually even-tempered Paul Adams despises Eighty One? Maybe not: In all, Eighty One is a sad disappointment. The restaurant's aspirations are all too prominent, but the best it seems capable of are unintentional moments of self-parody. [NYS]

"Tables for Two" gets around to Dovetail, and you know the drill: precise, accomplished, extraordinary food in a dull room. Leo Carey points out a few near mishaps, but generally this is the same review you've already read six times. [NYer]

Bo Ky is still serving the same excellent broths and pig feet as it has been since the year aleph, Will Heinrich reports. [NYO]