The Other Critics

Sifton Enjoys Graffit; Cheshes Split on Mile End, Octavia’s Porch

At Graffit, the “poached egg nestled into a tangle of baby vegetables… is cool and beautiful and science-mad, a piece of sculpture right there on your plate, just $15,” says Sam Sifton. “Entrees offer a return to whimsy. If filet mignon with bone-marrow ravioli, wild mushrooms and rosemary tasted like wedding food for the very wealthy, it was still perfectly cooked.” [NYT]

Mile End “strikes just the right balance, with a new dinner menu that manages to be both ambitious and reverential. A whole boneless butterflied brook trout is impressive,” writes Jay Cheshes. Octavia’s Porch “misses the mark, fumbling awkwardly through [chef Nikki Cascone’s] ancestral pantry. Cascone serves dreary overprocessed smoked salmon…even the matzo ball soup is a letdown.” [TONY]

Yi Lan Halal is “New York’s first real Muslim Chinese establishment,” says Robert Sietsema. “Highlights included beef tongue and tail in brown sauce, sliced potatoes with special sauce, and sliced fish with hot pepper.” [VV]

At Buvette, “you’ll be pleasantly impressed by the [cheese and charcuterie]. You’ll also want to sing the Marseillaise while devouring crespieu, an omelet chock-full of fried oysters,” writes Lauren Shockey. “Of course, some dishes hiccup along the way. Steak tartare bleeds for more aggressive seasoning.” [VV]

At Porsena, “there are mussels, steamed with saffron, garlic, and chile flakes, silky enough to make you wonder if you’ve been eating them overcooked your whole life,” writes Hannah Goldfield. [NYer]
Related: Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite on Porsena

Fiorello is fairly expensive as “six antipasti are $26 and entrées are $28 to $50,” says Gael Greene. “Small fried artichokes alla Giudea are greasy and delicious. The 20 oz. ribeye Fiorentina lacked a steak house finish. But the tender outsize lamb osso bucco, oozing lush juices and flavor on splendid polenta, more than made up for it.” [Insatiable Critic]

Sifton Enjoys Graffit; Cheshes Split on Mile End, Octavia’s Porch