the other critics

Bruni Likes Flex Mussels’ Flavors; Inakaya Is ‘Inconsequential’

Frank Bruni gives one star to Flex Mussels for its variety of approaches to the bivalve: “Flex approaches mussels the way Baskin-Robbins or Ben & Jerry’s approaches ice cream: as a starting point, a canvas, a vehicle for a pleasantly hyperactive imagination.” [NYT]

Emporio’s Roman cuisine is “simple and cheap,” writes Danyelle Freeman. As for the pizza, “[t]he pie crusts ... are so terrifically crunchy and thin, they're more like Frisbee-size crackers.” [NYDN]
Related: A First Look Inside Emporio and Its Food

Ryan Sutton weighs in on three new pizza places, including Emporio, where “the aroma of basil is intoxicating” but the pizza “could’ve used a bit more crunch.” Veloce Pizzeria “is a promising work in progress,” while Kesté, his favorite, “ranks with Motorino and Co. as one of the city’s best new pizzerias.” [Bloomberg]
Related: What to Eat at Veloce Pizzeria

Jay Cheshes isn't impressed by Japanese big-box destination Inakaya, where he feels “gastronomic déjà vu ... I’d tasted this stuff before — often better executed and more reasonably priced.” [TONY]
Related: What to Eat at Inakaya

Over at the buzzy Locanda Verde, Gael Greene notes some problems with small portions but not with flavor: “I love everything I’m tasting.” [Insatiable Critic]
Related: A Closer Look Inside Andrew Carmellini’s Locanda Verde

Andrea Thompson stops in at two popular (and small) West Village spots: Gottino “makes the most of its narrow space” and the food is “anything but a lark;” Wilfie & Nell, which “has the dark, claustrophobic dampness of an English pub,” is a place where the “food is meant to sop up the beer” and is “beside the point.” [NYer]

“Dish after dish was astonishing in the power and immediacy of its flavors,” writes Robert Sietsema about Flushing’s Southern Spice, which “flings open the doors on a half-dozen regional micro-cuisines” in South Indian cooking. [VV]

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