the other critics

Sifton Enjoys Tenpenny; Shockey Thinks ‘Your Meal Is a Crapshoot’ at Imperial No. Nine

At Tenpenny, "[the pork rack] is an entree of great seriousness of purpose and a lovely follow to the vegetable plate that could begin every evening meal," says Sam Sifton. "Mr. Cipollone is a vegetable shaman." [NYT]

At Empellon, the guacamole is "disappointing, delivered cold as if it had languished in the refrigerator, the cilantro wilted and devoid of zip," laments Robert Sietsema. "The tacos, however, are magnificent. Delivered two to a plate, and expensive in a range of $11 to $17, they’re largely a main ingredient with few distractions, reverent paeans to the product served from Mexican taco trucks all over Gotham." [VV]

Imperial No. Nine "resembles a winter garden designed by a Miami Beach decorator for whom Alice in Wonderland is gospel," says Lauren Shockey. "No matter which room (caste?) you find yourself in, you’ll encounter the same voguish menu of shareable plates that emerge from the kitchen 'as they are ready' — awkward if you’re the sole vegetarian and the roasted beets and stewed black chickpeas hit the table dead last. And beyond this sucky setup, your meal is a crapshoot." [VV]

"Walle shuns stereotypes for a thoroughly unfocused culinary blur," says Steve Cuozzo. However, "Cheung’s kitchen turned out a stirring Creekstone Farms trio of Angus beef cuts ($29) — grilled filet, slow-roasted short rib and roasted bone marrow — their flavors deepened by carrot puree and arrestingly differentiated by oyster, hawksaan and X/O sauces." [NYP]

The Gentleman Farmer "sends out ambitious preparations of game meats like pheasant, rabbit, venison, and wild boar," says Silvia Killingsworth. "Ostrich steak with peppercorn sauce, prosciutto-wrapped green beans, and an earthy rosemary gratin is the pinnacle of savory eating; beef tenderloin with velvety foie gras and a red-wine reduction is as full-bodied as it is generously portioned." [NYer]

MP Taverna is "a detour on your trek to the Hamptons where you can fill up on splendid meze and bitter greens while avoiding the worst of highway traffic," says Gael Greene. "And if you think a Tuesday night roundtrip to Roslyn for marvelous sheep’s milk dumplings and a groaning board of first-rate lamb chops sounds like an adventure, then go." [Insatiable Critic]

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