The Other Critics

Two Stars for Perbacco’s ‘Prodigy’; A (Very) Mixed Review for Forge

Having been tipped off first by a friend and then by “a popular blog,” Frank Bruni finds in Perbacco an avant-garde singularity worthy of two stars. That “popular blog” was onto something! [NYT]
Related: Modern Italian Prodigy Cooking Quietly in the East Village

Ligaya Mishan’s short review of Scarpetta may be the most compressed and eloquent description of the place to come out yet, affirming all that’s been said about Conant’s career, the meatpacking vibe, and the irrefutable greatness of the pastas. It also includes this gem of a description of Scotty Conant’s signature spaghetti with tomato sauce: “a small marvel: earthy and sweet, a chiaroscuro of bright and dark notes, the tomatoes and basil achieving a kind of velvety symbiosis with the just-shy-of-tender pasta.” Yes! Bring us some now! [NYer]
Related: Southern Italian [NYM]

Forge earns itself a somewhat conflicted review from Ryan Sutton, who seems to be in love with the place, then stops to grouse about the lousy pasta and lamb that was “a study in fat,” a “greasy” veal cutlet, and “overfried” soft-shell crab, all of which “should never have left the kitchen.” But then it’s all love again, and two stars. Odd. [Bloomberg]

Paul Adams finds in the East Village’s Kafana an admirable exception to the Momofuku model of self-consciously meat-glorifying restaurants; the simple Serbian sausage-fest pleases him with its unpretentiousness. [NYS]

Danyelle Freeman is the latest critic to be impressed by Convivio, although she withholds full praise, giving the place only three (of five) stars, owing to her singular dislike of the seafood pasta. [NYDN]

James and The General Greene, two relatively ambitious American restaurants, opened up in Brooklyn within weeks of each other, and Jay Cheshes likes the former a lot better than the latter, whose small portions and blah compositions were “bland” and “a yawn.” [TONY]
Related: Best of Breed [NYM]

Robert Sietsema stops in at Karczma, a somewhat modernized and middlebrow Polish restaurant in Greenpoint, but you can tell he doesn’t really like it. The only moment of excitement in the review is when he writes of a “blood sausage oozing lazily out of its pig-intestine casing.” You can tell he wanted more stuff like that. [VV]

Two Stars for Perbacco’s ‘Prodigy’; A (Very) Mixed Review for