The Other Critics: A Review of the Breslin and an Instagram Takedown

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Three stars for the Breslin, says Sutton. Photo: Chris Jagers/Flickr

This week, Adam Platt explained how April Bloomfield and David Chang changed American dining, inspiring chefs to "follow their own tastes and instincts" and return to "their comfort-food roots" with more intimate restaurants. Elsewhere in the city, Ryan Sutton also praised Bloomfield, reviewing the Breslin, and Pete Wells wrote about how Instagram changed food. Read it all, straight ahead.

Pete Wells wrote about Instagram and "camera cuisine" — meaning food that's Instagram-worthy, but at its core "is both exquisitely photogenic and peculiarly bland and lifeless." Pretty, but not necessarily great-tasting, food now "passes for great, or at least significant, cooking." Wells explained how technology has changed food as both a marketing tool and a source of "ideas," as in the case of Dominique Ansel's Cronut. It took "less than two weeks for a copycat to appear in Melbourne, Australia," Wells writes.

Ryan Sutton reviewed April Bloomfield's gastropub, the Breslin, calling it "the best place to eat meat in The Big Apple, period." Few dishes (save one vegetable soup) disappointed, but must-order dishes included the appetizer of a lamb chop with "big-game flavor" and cilantro chutney, rare roast beef with "fat-fried onion bread," and saltimbocca that was thin like a "carnivorous fruit-roll-up." The lamb burger was as compelling as when the "envelope-pushing hotel restaurant" opened a half-decade ago, with meat so medium-rare and soft it was like "eating a hot terrine on a bun." Of course, the desserts were fantastic, too, like the Eton Mess and strawberry sorbet so "fragrant it could be sold in the perfume section of Macy's." Three stars.

Robert Sietsema visited Bundu Khan, "the meatiest restaurant in the city." In his four-star review, Sietsema found the Queens restaurant's "85 percent" meat menu to be a haven for carnivores, singling out the badshahi haleem, or ground beef stewed with wheat and lentils, whole roasted chicken with lemon and "Oriental spices," and gola kebab with beef "so soft it must be laced together with thread." While the lamb kebab melted "into mush," the multilayered paratha flatbread (yes, it's actually vegetarian) fell apart fantastically and was the perfect vehicle for the flavorful stews.

Zachary Feldman dined at the Eddy, finding the East Village restaurant's "gussied-up booze and small plates" both whimsical and, for the most part, delightful. House-made mixers like macadamia gomme syrup and cocktails complemented the "urbane nibbles," including a fried beef tendon that popped with charred onion cream and trout roe pearls. While the tater tots fell flat and the desserts had a "50/50" success ratio, the savory menu was "overwhelmingly stacked with winners."

Steve Cuozzo broke down where to eat summer's quintessential food: the hot dog. Of the eight must-try, gourmet dogs, the NoMad Bar's reigned supreme: bacon-wrapped with Gruyère, celery relish, and truffle mayo on a brioche bun. Other standouts included the DBGB Dog at Daniel Boulud's DBGB Kitchen & Bar and the Shakespeare's dog, a chicken-and-sage sausage baked in a puff pastry.

Michael Kaminer awarded Queens restaurant Spicy Lanka four (out of five) stars. "The simply stellar food" included Sri Lankan dishes, like vegetarian patties that were fried to "fluffy" perfection. While the chicken curry was the only semi-miss, the chicken kothu with scrambled egg and chopped roti lulled "with deep, subtle flavors and silky texture," and the off-the-menu pittu is a must-order.