The Other Critics

Bar Q Steals Two Stars; a Split Decision on Benoit

Despite mostly hating the barbecue parts of the Bar Q menu, Frank Bruni found enough to like at Anita Lo’s new restaurant to justify giving it two stars, thanks to dishes “eclipsing my frustrations and lifting Bar Q well above its unevenness.” [NYT]

Ryan Sutton lays a merciless beat-down on Scarpetta, even going as far as to call chef Scott Conant’s famous spaghetti overcooked! In fact, Sutton did like a few things — a fish here, a pea soup there — but he’s not buying into Scarpetta, and puts down his flag with the first vehemently negative review. [Bloomberg]

Steve Cuozzo drops the hammer on Benoit, and from what we’re hearing, he won’t be the last. “Boring,” “irredeemably dull,” “unseasoned enough for convalescents…” Welcome back to the critical shit list, Mr. Alain Ducasse! Your brief honeymoon with Adour is now officially over. [NYP]

In a reversal of other early reviews, though, Randall Lane loves Benoit, from soup to nuts, while holding the nearby Brasserie Cognac up for special scorn. So you just never know. [TONY]

Alan Richman makes the trek out to Pomme de Terre and adds his voice to the chorus of approval, singling out the steak and other meat dishes for special praise. [GQ]

Brisket is the saving grace at Wildwood Barbeque, as far as Danyelle Freeman is concerned — that and dessert, in the form of the comically large cakes that come out at the end. But Restaurant Girl has only passing interest in the rest of the barbecue menu in her two-star review. [NYDN]

Bar Boulud gets from Leo Carey the review its creator meant it to have: very fine traditional bouchon food, great charcuterie, a wide and affordable wine list. There are a few wisecracks about the décor, but you can’t have everything. [NYer]

Paul Adams hits Cabrito and gives the place credit for being a lot better than it has to be, but, inevitably, plays the “unimpressive next to their cheaper, more substantial counterparts around the city” card. What, you didn’t see that one coming? [NYS]

Robert Sietsema wants you to know that he’s been to the real Redang Island in Malaysia, so he knows that the Redang Island restaurant in Bath Beach is worthy of the name. [VV]

Bar Q Steals Two Stars; a Split Decision on Benoit