Adam Platt Reviews Junoon, John Dory Oyster Bar; Rob and Robin Take On Toast
In this week's New York, Adam Platt plants himself amid the elegant confines of Junoon, "an opulent Indian spot [that] recalls the boom days of New York dining." Our critic finds the restaurant's chefs "adept at enlivening the usual curries and tandooris with intricate combinations of flavor and spice," especially the fiery Goan shrimp and crisp-fried Tree of Life cauliflower. However, he opines, "sometimes the quality of the cooking justifies the elaborate pomp and ceremony at this slightly overpompous restaurant, and sometimes it does not"; Junoon receives two stars. Platt also drops by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman's John Dory Oyster Bar (a revival of their Tenth Avenue fish house, the John Dory), "decorated with seashell sconces, laminated game fish, and bubbling fish tanks filled with brightly colored coral." However cheery the space, "Bloomfield’s abbreviated, tapas-style menu is a shadow of its former self," Platt laments, and Sasha Petraske's cocktail list takes too central a role. Still, "if you have to make a meal, focus on the limited but excellent oyster selection and ye olde specialties like anchovy toast, kedgeree (garnished with lime and crispy red onions)," at this one-star restaurant.
Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld have been John Dory–bound, too, all in the name of exploring the delightfully crispy world of toast. In a compendium that goes way beyond bruschetta, the Robs round up the best new toasts in town, solicit toast-perfection tips from ABC Kitchen's Dan Kluger, and lay out the international language of crisp bread with a handy glossary. In between carbo-loading, Rob and Robin also found time to procure a horseradish-laced mashed turnips recipe from the Meatball Shop's Daniel Holzman. And the duo has the goods on Pachanga Patterson, a "Mexican canteen" focused on the type of down-home cooking enjoyed by a restaurant's staff at that daily ritual known as the "family meal."