Sifton Impressed by Bar Basque; Cheshes Finds Compose ‘Not Polished Enough’

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At Bar Basque, "the codfish is ethereal. It provides a taste of the North Atlantic that is as soft on the tongue as a cloud," writes Sam Sifton. "[Fujinaga] cooks this food beautifully, and his menu offers real pleasures, particularly in the precincts of appetizers and side dishes." [NYT]
Related: Adam Platt on Kin Shop and Bar Basque

At Compose, "fresh mozzarella run through a chemical gauntlet has the texture of a jiggly egg yolk. [Slurped down like an oyster], it's a fun little bite," says Jay Cheshes. "But while Nick Curtin gets points for audacity, his food is too precious, derivative and short on thrills to merit its exorbitant price tag." [TONY]

Red Rooster "is international fusion at its most effortless and apt," says Robert Sietsema. "A disproportionate amount of the action, though, is in the appetizers, where the chef's imagination really takes flight." [VV]

Graffit "isn't a terrible restaurant, but one flying miles below its stratospheric self-image," writes Steve Cuozzo. "Most annoying of all was a house pride, 'rainbow' scallops ($24), where four miserly specimens sported the colors, but precious little flavor, of squid ink, saffron, pimento and beets." [NYP]

"While the fare is generally impressive [at Edi & the Wolf], the quirky décor and fun ambience are the real draws," writes Lauren Shockey. "The $19 [pork schnitzel] entrée is certainly good, but true to form, it's best as a vehicle for the sides—vibrant and creamy potato salad, cooling cucumbers, and sweet-tart lingonberry jam." [VV]
Related: First Look at Edi & the Wolf, Avenue C's New Austrian Wine Tavern

Ardesia "was so delicious I am kicking myself that I hadn't made my way there earlier," says Ed Levine. "The mortadella is porky, tender, almost custard-like; the pancetta is cured and then air-dried for six weeks; and even her cocktail sausages were juicy and bursting with flavor." [Serious Eats NY]

Stadium Grill at Bowlmor Lanes "will not be giving the nearby Lambs Club much of a bruise," says Gael Greene. "Best of all is a generous small plate starter of cornmeal-crusted crab cake under wilted mizuna with spicy corn relish and chipotle aioli alongside." [Insatiable Critic]