The Other Critics

Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than The Good Fork

Perilla tried to be sober and sane, and what was the result? One star from Frank Bruni. But that’s still pretty good for a first-time effort, even by a ‘Top Chef.’ [NYT]

It’s no surprise Alan Richman approves of Balthazar, given his fondness for insouciance in restaurants. He all but opens the floodgates of his enthusiasm for Keith McNally’s flagship. [Bloomberg]
Related: Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?

In an apparent effort to differentiate the two once and for all, Andrea Thompson considers both the Farm on Adderley and Flatbush Farm in one column. But read closer, and only one entrée is mentioned at each place, a disservice to both. [NYer]

Peter Meehan visits chowhound shrine Kebab Café in Astoria and finds all as it was before the place’s low-impact “renovation” — the slow-moving, eccentric, and brilliant Ali is a kind of Queens counterpart to Di Fara’s equally slow-moving Dom DeMarco. [NYT]

Randall Lane loves the space at Hudson River Cafe almost as much as the locals do, but he finds the food only so-so. We see the makings of future write-up scripts here. [TONY]
Related: New Bourgeoisie Magnet Opens in Harlem

Brand-new seaport gastropub Nelson Blue is totally true to the cuisine of New Zealand, Paul Adams reports in his largely positive review. Not that New York has been hungering for Kiwi cookery or anything. [NYS]

Ryan Sutton hits the latest Peter Luger knockoff steakhouse, DeStefano’s and says that the steak isn’t that great. Not a good omen for future success, but steak quality tends to be inconsistent even at Luger, so another critic might find otherwise. [Bloomberg]

As a UT alumni, Robert Sietsema considers himself an expert on barbecue and says that Hill Country measures up to its source, Kreuz Market in Texas. But he also calls them out for lousy chicken and “boring” pork chops, which is something few other critics have thought to do in their rave reviews. [VV]

Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than The