Wells Steps Back in Time at Alison Eighteen; Sietsema and the Times Find Authentic Ethnic

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Grown-up Alison Eighteen. Photo: Melissa Hom

On Monday, New York's Adam Platt gave two stars to sushi newcomer Neta. What did New York's crop of professional eaters think about the city's restaurants this week? Let's take a look.

Homesick Californians might not believe it, but Robert Sietsema has discovered what he deems a rough approximation of Los Angeles Mexican fare, tucked away in Greenwich Village at Florencia 13. The chile relleno is a pleasant surprise, and burritos with names such as "Santa Monica" sound like home, even if they don't taste exactly like it.

At Tulsi, Ryan Sutton is impressed by the Indian fare and, in particular, by the value of the seven-course tasting menu for $65 — so much so that he wonders, "Maybe Tulsi isn’t expensive enough?"

The New York Times also seeks a bargain, this week in the Middle-Eastern food at Wafa's, where the standards, such as the baba ghannouj, shine.

Familiar standards (of a different region) are the high point at Alison Eighteen, where Pete Wells encounters a dining experience that harkens back to the scene in New York ten or twenty years ago. "The sets look great," Wells writes, "but the dialogue can feel a bit strained, and the players need time to learn their lines." Wells awards the restaurant one star.

Classics get top billing at North End Grill, too, where The New Yorker finds a number of worthy Danny Meyer creations — not least of all the thrice-fried spiced fries or, for dessert, butterscotch pot de crème with whiskey-soaked marshmallows hidden at the bottom.