The Other Critics

Fiamma Earns Its Third Star; Love for Kenny Shopsin

Fiamma hits the three-star jackpot, tickling Frank Bruni in his sweet spot and earning itself the critical credibility Steve Hanson wanted when he hired Fabio Trabocchi. Bruni admits the place isn’t Italian, but he is in love with the ultrarich, ultracomposed food. [NYT]

Market Table took over the space that was Shopsin’s, and this gave the Randall Lane the good idea of reviewing both restaurants at the same time. Market Table earns four stars (out of six, mind you) for its solid food and gracious service. Kenny, in his new digs at Essex Street Market, gets three for his still terrific food and his not-so-gracious service. [TONY]

The Fiamma review should wash away any melancholy caused by Alan Richman’s lukewarm number on Primehouse, Fiamma’s sister. Richman likes the steaks pretty well and singles out crab cake for enthusiastic praise, but he casts a skeptical eye on pretty much everything else, from its resident bull-god to the Himalayan salt aging room. [Bloomberg]

Ryan Sutton hits Dell’Anima but spends so much time vamping about the overabundance of new Italian restaurants that it’s hard to tell if he actually likes the place. This is where a star system would come in handy. Lunetta he seems to like better. [Bloomberg]

Restaurant Girl goes to Athens Taverna, and it’s no Anthos, but she gives the place its due as having very good fish — the least a high-end Greek place can do and worth a star and a half on the RG scale. [NYDN]

Peter Meehan seems to like Back Forty enough, but you can tell his heart isn’t really into it: Everything sounds small and twee and wan, and his hamburger suffered from grass-fed anemia. [NYT]

Irving Mill takes a witheringly mixed review from Moira Hodgson, who was on her way to a glowing review when she got “a grilled pork chop with the rubbery consistency of squid, mushy braised rabbit like a 1950’s hostess’ signature party dish, and short ribs stringy as rope.” [NYO]

A new Moroccan restaurant in Astoria demands the attention, and appreciation, of Robert Sietsema, and got both. [VV]

To be honest, we had never heard of Stonehome Wine Bar in Fort Greene until we read Andrea Thompson’s review in The New Yorker. But now we want to go there, so desirable does she make it sound, with its little pink meatballs. [NYer]

Fiamma Earns Its Third Star; Love for Kenny Shopsin