The Other Critics

Sifton Enjoys the National; Cheshes Calls Imperial No. Nine a ‘Big, Beautiful Flop’

The National Bar and Dining Room has “a menu of standards put through the reinvention machine, followed by wise and often wonderful desserts,” writes Sam Sifton. “The appetizers are strong: crisp pork nuggets with a soft onion soubise and pickled jalapeños, apples and grapes, for instance.” [NYT]

Imperial No. Nine is “a big, beautiful flop. While the small and large plates are designed for sharing, there’s not much on the menu you’ll be clamoring to eat,” says Jay Cheshes. “Even a simply seared culotte steak is undone by supporting aggressors — a thick chimichurri that tastes only of mint, confited potatoes and shallots consumed by black pepper.” [TONY]
Related” Adam Platt on Imperial No. Nine

At Coppelia, “the food runs from inspired to terrible, and there’s no real correlation between authenticity and goodness,” says Robert Sietsema. “Hands down, the best dish on Medina’s menu is chaufa, a Peruvian take on Chinese fried rice that hits all the right flavor notes.” [VV]

At Brooklyn Star, “start with half a dozen oysters. Barbecue mignonette tops the slurpers, and these cool ocean gems arrive craftily presented on a bed of crushed ice in a plastic beer tray,” says Lauren Shockey. “Dr. Pepper, that Southern fave, coats a smoky half-rack of ribs ($18) that fall effortlessly off the bone.” [VV]

Lyon Bouchon Moderne “sends out food as inviting as the atmosphere. The signature dish, or, at least, the most popular one, would seem to be the mussels,” writes Mike Peed. “Though several dishes present opportunities for a diner to exhibit moxie — a beef-tripe entrée, a veal-tongue salad, pig trotters — you shouldn’t feel enfeebled by ordering, say, the roast chicken or the pork chop.” [NYer]

Stuzzicheria’s “chef is a gnocchi adept. From his vast repertoire come these rich-as-Croesus ricotta gnocchi with morels, mint cream and bits of pistachio. I love it,” says Gael Greene. [Insatiable Critic]

Compose is “a great place for creative grub and booze. Most of the time, anyway,” says Ryan Sutton. “The $120 menu is served to just 12 people at a time … the latest in a spate of micro-restaurants where chefs double as servers.” [Bloomberg]

Sifton Enjoys the National; Cheshes Calls Imperial No. Nine a ‘Big,