Benoit Ekes Out One Star From Bruni; Cuozzo in Love With Alloro

Benoit misses the mark on one note after the other, but a few dishes pleased Frank Bruni enough for the place to earn a single star. Bruni suspects that Alain Ducasse's heart just isn't in the place, and he's not the only one. [NYT]
Related: Faux French [NYM]

Steve Cuozzo goes hog wild for the quirky, two-week-old Alloro, which served him five of the best pastas he's had all year. [NYP]

Sarah DiGregoiro paints the East Village's Persimmon as a cheaper, more accessible alternative to Ko. And who wouldn't want that? While admitting the place lacks Ko's “experimental edge,” her review of Persimmon's food verges on rapture. [VV]
Related: Kimchic [NYM]

Restaurant Girl goes to Hundred Acres, the Haute Barnyard spot that used to be Provence, and finds it disappointing, to the tune of two stars (out of five). She just can't get the old place out of her head. [NYDN]

Alan Richman, surprisingly, was much easier on the place — essentially, because he liked the food better, other than a plate of liver that was “a disaster.” On the whole, he seems to have had the experience the owners intended, with no shadow of Provence lurking over him. [GQ]

Cafe Society, says Paul Adams, “feels like a restaurant desperately in search of a personality.” Worse still, Adams paints a picture of a United Nations of bad food, with poorly made dishes from around the world cluttering its jumbled menu. [NYS]

Scarpetta, says Jay Cheshes in his four-out-of-six-stars review, is at its best with Scott Conant's “ethereal” pastas — but falters with his rustic-style entrées, which just aren't his thing. Conant, he says, “is more at home cooking in the upscale style he made his name on.” [TONY]