The Other Critics

Kauffman Calls Prospect ‘Urbane, Subtle, Playful’; Reidinger Reviews Hunan Chef

Photo: Suzy Poling/Grub Street

Perhaps we should never have complained, as this week Jonathan Kauffman rises to the occasion and reviews Prospect, being the first of the city’s critics to tackle one of the big summer openers that we’ve all been eagerly waiting to see reviewed. He writes of an “anticlimactic” first meal, but he says of his second visit that “it became clear that everything Prospect actually wants to be — urbane, subtle, playful in the mannered tones of an 18th-century French noble — it realizes beautifully.” He calls the vast space “surprisingly warm” and compliments Ravi Kapur’s cooking saying he “hit a sweet spot when he indicated he knew where the fringe [of edginess] was, such as when he molded pork trotter meat into square fritters, then anointed the crisp cakes with lobster-infused aioli and fresh, sweet cubes of lobster.” He also likes Elise Fineberg’s desserts, especially the root-beer-chocolate cake, and calls Brooke Arthur’s drinks “he most daring aspect of Prospect… a collection of tricks and curiosities.” [SF Weekly, Slideshow]

Paul Reidinger goes out to Bernal to try out Hunan Chef (525 Cortland). He says their potstickers are “big as a baby’s fist and juicy,” and also says the roasted duck is “richly satisfying. As for the signature Hunan chicken, he writes that it had “the kind of sauce that left you wishing Chinese restaurants brought you a basket of bread so you’d have a means of sopping it up.” [SFBG]

Kauffman Calls Prospect ‘Urbane, Subtle, Playful’; Reidinger Reviews