The Other Critics

Bruni Likes Vegan Food More Than He Thought; Benoit Still Bad

Benoit Photo: Melissa Hom

Frank Bruni abstains from meat and visits the vegan restaurant Candle 79. He finds much of the food to be “pleasurably and largely satisfying,” but we can’t imagine him eating there frequently. [NYT]

Steve Cuozzo discovers the secret to a good meal at Benoit: “All you need is to have globetrotting [Alain] Ducasse fly in and personally supervise your dishes.” If the chef isn’t on site, go elsewhere. [NYP]

Danyelle Freeman was wowed by the brown-liquor extravaganza at Char No. 4, but also likes the “Southern comfort food with a sophisticated, urban spin.” [NYDN]

Alan Richman is also pleased with the cheap whiskey selection and the smoky, bacon-y menu at Char No. 4. Five Leaves did not fare as well: “Never have I seen food and ambience less in sync than at Five Leaves.” [GQ]

Andrea Strong appreciates Tyler Kord’s casual badass cooking at No. 7: “That, presumably, means complicated dishes executed with an effortless air. It works.” [NYer]

The service could use some guidance at Apiary, but Moira Hodgson likes the way Neil Manacle “uses fruits with savory dishes,” and recommends avoiding the seafood dishes. [NYO]

Gael Greene returns to Home for the first time since 2003 and loves the porridge, scallops, and several other dishes, even though they’re overpriced. [Insatiable Critic]

Jay Cheshes revisits Union Square Cafe and is impressed with innovations Carmen Quagliata has added to the aging menu: “You can eat very well skipping the restaurant’s dated classics and sticking only to Quagliata’s contributions.” [TONY]

Ryan Sutton checks in on Michael Citarella, the new chef at Freemans: “A sampling of Citarella’s fare proves that Freemans has finally become a bona fide gastropub — most of the time.” [Bloomberg]

Bruni Likes Vegan Food More Than He Thought; Benoit Still Bad