The Other Critics

Sifton Gives Three to Gotham Bar and Grill; Cuozzo Thinks La Silhouette ‘Occasionally Falters’

Gotham Bar and Grill’s seafood salad, “a dish that Bryan Miller raved about in The New York Times in 1985, when he awarded the restaurant three stars … still tastes terrific, with every flavor in balance. It still offers excitement,” says Sam Sifton. On the current menu, “Mr. Portale cooks out of a number of larders without ever compromising the integrity of his overall vision.” [NYT]

La Silhouette’s “Roast chicken tasted as rich as coq au vin with only a drop of white wine,” writes Steve Cuozzo. “Yet execution occasionally falters. Diver scallops were nicely caramelized but barely lukewarm. Striped bass was as wonderful on a second tasting as on the first, but barely half the size.” [NYP]

At Spasso, “the food, while not mind-blowing, will happily feed you, and the space offers a quaint, unpretentious setting,” says Lauren Shockey. “Overall, the stuffed pastas, which include an excellent pea-and-prawn ravioli, surpass the other noodles.” [VV]

Man’ouChe “offers the most intimate look at today’s Lebanese vernacular cuisine and is a particular delight for vegans,” writes Robert Sietsema. “Go for the café’s true specialty, manakeesh. These freshly baked flatbreads will engulf your table in a cloud of pungent and agreeable odors.” [VV]

Coppelia is “blissed out on yucca croquette, huevos rancheros and the essential quesadilla,” says Gael Greene. On the other hand, “I don’t think the chef’s heart is in the disappointingly pedestrian sancocho soup.” [Insatiable Critic]

At What Happens When, “themes and prix-fixe menus change every thirty days. Intensely meaty venison tartare came scattered with gooseberries and flaky homemade saltines, and a smoked egg nested in cloud-smooth chicken liver, ribbons of serrano ham, and puréed butternut squash.” [NYer]

Empellon is “a work in progress. Tequila-cured salmon with sangrita evokes the fishiness of an old tackle box and the generic flavors of supermarket salsa,” says Ryan Sutton. [Bloomberg]

Sifton Gives Three to Gotham Bar and Grill; Cuozzo Thinks La Silhouette