The Other Critics

Sifton Pans Aureole; Nearly Everyone Else Eats at SD26

Aureole “is a Las Vegas event restaurant airlifted into Manhattan, a corporate cafeteria with a soundtrack of smooth jazz in the George Benson style. The food can be quite good. It can also be the opposite. Aureole, as the New York expression goes, is meh,” writes Sam Sifton in a one-star review. [NYT]

San Domenico’s reincarnation as SD26 “is either convoluted/newfangled or fresh/contemporary, depending on your sensibility—or maybe your age,” writes Alan Richman. [Forked and Corked/GQ]
Related: A Closer Look at SD26, Designed Via Miraculous Conception

“SD26 remains a thoughtful work in progress,” admits Gael Greene, who
doesn’t get a good table even though she’s known owner Tony May since 1973. “We have no view of the kitchen, the great looking salumeria … or the scene, a mix of aging San Domenico camp followers and their spawn.” [Insatiable Critic]

“SD26 is enormous, modern and frenetic,” declares Jay Cheshes. “[Chef Odette] Fada’s wide-ranging menu whips from highbrow to low. During white-truffle season, the dining room is fragrant with the locker room funk of exorbitant fungi, shaved to order. But diners will find plenty more modest dishes.” [TONY]

The food at SD26 is on par with that of A Voce Columbus for Ryan Sutton, but he doesn’t like the scene at either: “If A Voce is corporate Italian, SD26 is giant nightclub Italian.” [Bloomberg]
Related: First Look at A Voce Columbus, Now Accepting Reservations

At Abe & Arthur’s, “you’d do well to make a meal of apps. Not that the mains aren’t also good—they’re just not a good deal,” explains Robert Sietsema, who prefers the French-accented comfort food to a separate menu that belongs in a steakhouse. [VV]
Related: A Closer Look at Abe & Arthur’s and Its Food

Prime Meats “is a sort of homage to late-Victorian German-American restaurants, and the Franks take obvious delight in curating every element of it. The wood panelling and large antique bar are beautifully finished … Waiters look as if they’d auditioned for “Deadwood” … And cocktails abound with recherché ingredients,” writes Leo Carey. But he dismisses the food: “Similar care could usefully be applied to the cooking.” [NYer]
Related: Empire Building [NYM]

Sifton Pans Aureole; Nearly Everyone Else Eats at SD26