The Other Critics

Sifton Gives a Star to Peels; Cuozzo Raves Over Lowcountry

Of Peels’ “vaguely Southern” menu, Sam Sifton says, “The magic is fleeting.” Appetizers, like Andouille corn dogs in sweet corn batter, “offer the best eating,” while entrées are “a mess” and the steaks are “giant flaps of crust-free, overly chewy meat the flavor of nickels.” However, Sifton says, “The aesthetic of the room is warm and welcoming, a diner put into a home, perhaps the kitchen at Hyannis Port. It is for this feeling that we go to restaurants.” [NYT]
Related: Adam Platt Gets Clubby At Peels and Lambs Club

Hill Country Chicken “proved to be just another fried-chicken joint, capitalizing on the battered bird’s current brushfire popularity,” writes Robert Sietsema. The two types of chicken offered are “severely flawed” and “the tarts are disappointing — heavy on crust, light on filling.” [VV]
Related: First Look At Hill Country Chicken, Now Serving Pimiento Sandwiches

At Lowcountry, Southern-inspired food fares better, according to Steve Cuozzo. “You don’t expect cornmeal-dusted catfish to be excellent in Manhattan,” he says. On the menu, “butter, spice and sugar proudly stand up for themselves. And prices are, well, delightfully low.” [NYP]
Related: First Look at Lowcountry, Bar Blanc’s Decidedly Southern Successor

Seersucker “cooks up some of the city’s most satisfying Southern fare,” writes Ryan Sutton. “The satisfyingly messy, spice-rubbed bird could be the city’s best.” At Peels, which “isn’t entirely Southern, and quite chic,” the rib eye is “a life-changing slab of cow; so big it doesn’t even fit on the plate.” [Bloomberg]

At the Hurricane Club, “I expected kitsch and fun and tiny parasols, but I didn’t anticipate the food to be so wonderful,” says Gael Greene. “That I’d swoon over Royal Miyagi Oysters with pineapple and yuzu, Peking duck tea sandwiches, and crisp-skinned chunks of Peking pig to stuff with hoisin and scallion into Chinese steamed biscuits.” [Insatiable Critic]
Related: Sifton Appreciates Manzo’s ‘Macher Flare’; the Hurricane Club Is ‘a Natural Disaster’

Of Rabbit in the Moon, “The laziness and cynicism on display here typify what is making the Village an increasingly terrible place to get dinner,” says Leo Carey. “Randomly enough, the cooking’s not bad. The fish-and-chips improves on its greasy namesake, with a light beer batter surrounding silky cod … the rib eye is decent.” [NYer]

Sifton Gives a Star to Peels; Cuozzo Raves Over Lowcountry