The Other Critics

Allen & Delancey Gets Its Two-Star Due; Irving Mill Continues to Uninspire

In spite of lousy desserts and a misstep in the fish department there, Frank Bruni couldn’t avoid giving Allen and Delancey’s complex, accomplished food two stars. [NYT]

Alan Richman, no pushover, was also very impressed by Allen & Delancey, though he noted that the chef’s strength clearly lies in the realm of turf, rather than surf. Still, the respect is there: “The visceral satisfaction is high. He piles on flavors, and he does so with assurance.” [Bloomberg]

Irving Mill: tired concept, spotty execution. Restaurant Girl joins the chorus. [NYDN]

There are a lot of good noodle shops in New York’s three Chinatowns, and in truth, a lot of them are equally good. But Peter Meehan picks out Food Shing, more or less at random, and gets across just what’s so much fun about it. [NYT]

Back Forty, Peter Hoffman’s Ave B. bourgeois barnyard restaurant, has generally gotten good, if unenthusiastic notices, and that doesn’t change with Moira Hodgson’s one-star review: “Back Forty is an endearing restaurant that hasn’t quite found its groove.” [NYO]

Bacaro and dell’anima, twin downtown Italians, get their first serious reviews from Randall Lane, who isn’t impressed: The service sounds terrible, and the food just “meh.” Bacaro comes out ahead, with three stars (of six), but it has a way to go before it comes to the level of its sibling, Peasant. [TONY]

Paul Adams wishes Belcourt were as good as Matt Hamilton’s earlier venture, Uovo, but finds the food is “less muscular and intensely flavored than past experience with the chef taught me to expect.” [NYS]

Ryan Sutton hits two new, intriguing-sounding spots; Will Goldfarb’s Dessert Studio at the ABC store, and the inexpensive, unpretentious, and bountiful feeding station that is the Smith. He likes both a lot: the Dessert Studio for its gastronomical high-wire act, and the Smith for its solid, affordable food. (Except the lamb cutlet.) [Bloomberg]
Related: Insatiable Critic: The Smith

Bob Lape drops in on two new steakhouses, T Bar and the new Uncle Jack’s, and gives one a fine review and the other a middling one, mostly on account of a lousy crab cake. The latter doesn’t seem fair, as no steakhouse should be judged by a crab cake, and the critic seems not to have tried the non-Kobe steaks on the menu. [Crain’s NY]

Robert Sietsema loves Brooklyn’s vast Pan-Asian banquet hall–restaurant Pacificana, and what’s not to love? Practically every dish in Asia seems to be on the menu. [VV]

Allen & Delancey Gets Its Two-Star Due; Irving Mill Continues to Uninspire