Thistle Hill Tavern Transcends its Neighborhood; ‘Inherent Quirkiness’ at Vandaag

• Neighborhoody South Slope spot Thistle Hill Tavern "produces dishes that are too good to be bound by a single zip code," says Jay Cheshes, though it "may take some tweaking before gastro-tourists start jostling neighborhood families and young professionals for a table." [TONY]
Related: Opening: Thistle Hill Tavern

Vandaag has "inherent quirkiness," notes Robert Sietsema. It "isn’t so much a Dutch restaurant as a Dutch-themed one, proving how far a restaurant must go to distinguish itself these days. Interesting and inspired cooking just isn’t enough." [VV]

• Food at the futuristic FoodParc is "way better than the food court setting might have you believe," says Ed Levine. "In fact much of the food is remarkably delicious … Just about every type of dumpling is worth having," and the burger is "perhaps one of the top 5 under $10 in New York right now." [Serious Eats NY]
Related: A Look Inside FoodParc, the Midtown Food Court Inspired by Blade Runner

• As restaurants go, Atlantic Grill is "especially handsome," notes Gael Greene, with "tufted rust leather banquettes, soft light from table lamps and sexy black-and-white Hollywood photographs." Chef Chris Lim has a "fetish for sweetness in savories," which works more often than not. [Insatiable Critic]

• The kitchen at Balaboosta "produces spunky, nouveau-Mediterranean fare," says Mike Peed. "This rings especially true for the small plates," like a fried cauliflower dish with pine nuts and currants. [NYer, Subscription required]
Related: Balaboosta Starts Cooking in Nolita