The Other Critics

Two Bruni Stars for Mia Dona; Mostly Good Things for Merkato 55

Frank Bruni rewards Michael Psilakis for his practical efforts to create, in Mia Dona, an affordable restaurant with two stars. (And possibly to make up the third star Anthos should have gotten.) [NYT]

Overall, Restaurant Girl cottons to Merkato 55, though she reserves her fullest praise on account of a few “flubs” and boring desserts. She likes the energy and audacity of the place, though. [NYDN]

Paul Adams has more or less the same sentiments: He likes the place, but it “doesn’t dazzle.” Then there are these words, which no doubt the restaurant dreads reading: “not as flavorful as the version I get for half the price uptown.” [NYS]

Alan Richman, for his part, can’t find much to dislike about Merkato 55. In fact, you could say he liked it. [GQ]

Mike Peed can’t argue with the chicken at Egg, but the room and its vibe provide for high comedy. [NYer]

Jean Georges gets an inexplicable three stars (of four) from Richard Vines, Bloomberg’s new critic, whose review is predictably effusive. Is Vines going to review every restaurant in the city now? [Bloomberg]

Adour gets what feels like an obligatory three-star review from Moira Hodgson, who admires it but doesn’t seem to love it. That seems to be the consensus on Adour at this point, but the full story has yet to be written. [NYO]

Philoxenia, the pride of Astoria, is back from the dead, nicer than before, and with food that’s just as good: Such is Peter Meehan’s happy verdict in “$25 and Under.” [NYT]

Speaking of Astoria, Robert Sietsema finds himself a good Portuguese churrascaria in Arcos, comparable to the ones in Newark beloved by area chowhounds. [VV]

New TONY critic Jay Cheshes likes Commerce all right, particularly the room, but wasn’t knocked out by Harold Moore’s dishes, though he admitted that it “generally left us happy.” [TONY]

Two Bruni Stars for Mia Dona; Mostly Good Things for Merkato 55