The Other Critics

Nobody Truly Loves Varietal; Pera and Dennis Foy Only Marginally Appealing

Bruni one-stars two restaurants, damning both with the faintest of praise: “Pera is a restaurant good enough at what it does best to argue for at least a moment’s consideration,” he says, carefully calibrating the knocks everyone else has given the place. Dennis Foy is too,” he throws in. [NYT]

Meehan is downright enthusiastic in his praise for East Village mini-chain Chickpea, which he considers the epitome of cheap eats, if not the final word in falafel and shawarma. [NYT]

Alan Richman reviews a more or less random steakhouse, Harry’s in the financial district, and delivers the news that the sides are lame, the steaks are fair to good, and that the place isn’t especially pretty or pleasant. Who’d have thought? [Bloomberg]

Not unsurprisingly given her conservative tastes, Moira Hodgson merely seems to approve of Varietal, with its flash and fireworks. Then again, Platt, who appreciates imaginative cooking as much as anybody, also found it a bit over the top. [NYO]
Related: Chelsea for Foodies [NYM]

Paul Adams likes Varietal more than Hodgson does, saying that, “jaded diners hungry for something unusual will find plenty to dote on here.” Might he be talking about himself? If so, he’s one of few such people writing mainstream reviews. [NYS]

Put Robert Sietsema in front of a lamb sandwich from a foreign country, and the love will flow. And so it goes at the Australian gastropub Sheep Station. [VV]

The New Yorker throws us for a loop by reviewing a restaurant, Trestle on Tenth, that’s been open for a year, only to say, along with nearly everyone who reviewed it in ‘06, that it’s solid but unexciting. [NYer]

Time Out does the same double review of Stand and brgr as have so many others, coming to about the same conclusion: Stand’s burger is bigger, better, and more carefully cooked. [TONY]

Lower East Side noodle bar Kampuchea gets reamed for insipid food, bad service, and derivative cooking — the standard rap on the place, both from its relatively few reviewers and downtown word of mouth. [TONY]

Another Australian restaurant, Wombat, gets a short but very enthusiastic review, pointing to the delicacy and beauty of the dishes — though the high prices, stark décor, and cash-only policy get black marks. [TONY]

Nobody Truly Loves Varietal; Pera and Dennis Foy Only Marginally Appealing