The Other Critics

Dueling Views on Morandi; Varietal Taken to Task

Morandi gets absolutely slaughtered by Steve Cuozzo. Keith McNally has hardly received a bad review yet. [NYP]

Meanwhile, Moira Hodgson loves the place: “You’ll want to taste everything on this menu.” She seems to have liked all of it, with the possible exception of an overpriced veal chop. Did these two even go to the same restaurant? [NYO]

Bruni one-stars Varietal, calling the food creative but uneven and lambasting avant-garde dessert chef Jordan Kahn, who has enjoyed a lot of critical love. The desserts “don’t so much eschew convention as pummel and shatter it — literally, and often pointlessly.” [NYT]

Deep in Sunset Park, Meehan finds Pacificana, a new “Cantonese palace” with great dim sum, the best congee he’s ever had, and one great entrée after another. It’s extremely rare that a major Chinese restaurant in the outer boroughs earns a write-up in the Times (the last was Spicy & Tasty), but this one sounds like it deserves it. [NYT]

Ryan Sutton weighs in first on Ed’s Lobster Bar, continuing his practice of dropping into places before they’re open two weeks. This time, he liked what he tasted. [Bloomberg]

Paul Adams offers Kefi appreciation but stops short of total approval. Several main courses were dry or plain, suggesting that chef Michael Psilakis may be more concerned with opening Anthos or that the no-reservations policy needs to be rethought. [NYS]

Robert Sietsema reviews Kiosco Piaxtla, a Mexican café in Williamsburg which, he tells us, serves “pale” chicken and “bony” goat, but which makes a mean mole. [VV]

A double review of 15 East, the sushi sequel to Tocqueville, and Sumile Sushi: Randall Lane isn’t crazy about either of them, saying that the first has great sushi but is overpriced and otherwise disappointing, and outright panning Sumile Sushi as boring. Strangely, he doesn’t like Josh DeChellis’s cooked dishes, either. [TONY]

Dueling Views on Morandi; Varietal Taken to Task