The Other Critics

Bar Blanc Draws Its Deuce; Mia Dona Welcomed by Richman

Frank Bruni finds Bar Blanc fussy, mannered, overly fastidious — and very, very good. The two stars should take the sting out of his review for the place’s owners. [NYT]
Related: Raising the Bar

Restaurant Girl hits Williamsburg’s Zenkichi and, between the room, the food, and the sake selection, seems to have a real find on her hands. [NYDN]

Randall Lane joins in the general enthusiasm for Dovetail , but now he seems unwilling to go back to his five-star-granting ways and so ends up giving them only four — the equivalent, in traditional star terms, to a two-star review, which is not what this reads as. [TONY]

And the first major review of Mia Dona comes to us from…Alan Richman, using his GQ blog as his platform. He has a few quibbles with the room and the overcomplexity of the food, but finds the latter skillful and copious, with prices that are “beyond reasonable.” A great first review for Mia Dona. [GQ]
Related: Inside Mia Dona’s Kitchen

Interestingly, Richman’s former Bloomberg colleague Ryan Sutton also files on Mia Dona, gasping with disbelief that there is such a thing as meat loaf without ketchup and that rabbit nuggets, while they sound Italian, are breaded with panko — which is Japanese! Such disingenuousness is odd in Sutton, who gets around and should be less dumbstruck. [Bloomberg]

In a write-up that feels a lot like Bruni’s take on Bar Blanc, Paul Adams finds Tre too clever and too fussy, but still wholly admirable in the level of its cooking. [NYS]

Gottino’s enormous small-plates menu gets a warm appreciation from Robert Sietsema, although he qualms at the prices on the wine list. Since getting three stars from the Underground Gourmet, Gottino has had some time to gear up for other reviewers, and it shows. [VV]

As we noted yesterday, Nick Paumgarten, on the strength of a single bad dinner, pounds Fiamma in one of the year’s worst reviews of a major restaurant. [NYer]
Related: ’The New Yorker’ Hits Fiamma Hard

In “Dining Briefs,” a good, if vague, review for the Metropolitan Opera’s reworked restaurant, the Grand Tier, and a curiously unenthusiastic review by Peter Meehhan of World of Taste Seafood Deli/Vietnamese Food, some random Vietnamese joint in the Bronx. [NYT]

Bar Blanc Draws Its Deuce; Mia Dona Welcomed by Richman