Rouge Tomate Too Bland for Bruni; Cuozzo Welcomes Kefi

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Frank Bruni starts a health-conscious new year at Rouge Tomate, but doesn't truly enjoy it. While there are "intricately, gorgeously assembled dishes," "[t]oo much of the food lacks punch. Too much of it simply lacks salt." [NYT]
Related: Inside Rouge Tomate

Steve Cuozzo finds more than just good food at the new Kefi: "Kefi is so right for its time and it just might serve as a template for those brave enough to open new eateries in post-Madoff Manhattan." [NYP]
Related: A Look at Kefi and Its New Menu

Ryan Sutton is mixed on the John Dory, where theres quirky gourmet fare thats often excellent, but in a laid-back environment thats occasionally downright annoying. [Bloomberg]
Related: Inside the John Dory

The Oak Room may be utterly dated, but chef Joel Antunes knows what to do with black truffles, writes Alan Richman. [Forked/GQ]

The Upper West Sides West Branch is the most solid fit for the neighborhood to open in years, avers Jay Cheshes. [TONY]

Gael Greene pans the plating at Macao Trading Co., but the food more than makes up for it. [Insatiable Critic]
Related: A First Look at Macao Trading Co., Opening Right This Second

At BarBao, the chefs familiar classics are disappointing. But Michael "Bao" Huynh succeeds when he pushes beyond what we tend to think of as Vietnamese cooking, says Danyelle Freeman. [NYDN]

Caf Select has an unmistakable air of European metropolitanism, writes Shauna Lyon, and its center-cut strip rivals any bar steak in the city. [NYer]
Related: First Look: Caf Select