The Other Critics

Sietsema Compares 900 Degrees to Domino’s; Sifton Likes Desmond’s ‘Haute Nursery Food’

At Bell Book & Candle, “the bizarrely retro choice of a Thousand Island dressing on a ‘living leaf’ salad of rooftop greens did little to mask the smoky aftertaste of city exhaust fumes,” says Amelia Lester of the locavore restaurant. “Even the Snickers-size chunk of pork belly atop another bed of greens couldn’t save the vegetables from their terroir.” [NYer]

“Since all pies are preconfigured, with no options, ordering might be an easy task, except it’s impossible to figure out the size and thickness of each pie from the menu description, or how many you’d have to order to feed, say, a table of four,” says Robert Sietsema of the pie varieties available at West Village pizzeria 900 Degrees. “As we were digging in, one of my crew noted with a twinkle in his eye that, though his slice was utterly edible, ‘This pie tastes like it was just delivered from Domino’s.’ And, indeed, he was right.” [VV]

The Dover sole at Desmond’s is “grilled and served with butter, lemon and a totally unnecessary topping of sweet shrimp that you ought to scrape off as a child might, knowing that some foods should not touch, the dish offers diners an uncomplicated taste of club food at its best,” says Sam Sifton in his one-star review. The rest of the food “is mostly well-prepared haute nursery food with a vague Continental accent.” [NYT]

At Duo, “All of [the furnishings] might have come from the closet of rich shopaholics. The velvet wall studded with Swarovski crystals, the gold leaf accents, crocodile skin columns, a donut shaped chandelier glittering like a giant diamond choker,” says Gael Greene of the restaurant’s excess. “You have to figure out that a Duo is sometimes two items on a plate and sometimes a choice of this or that. And if you’re out tonight because you couldn’t face cooking, you might not feel like designing your own carpaccio from a dozen ingredients.” [Insatiable Critic]

Jay Cheshes writes that “Buvette is the sort of place where you pop in for a glass of wine and a snack—hunks of creamy Noble Road Brie; slices of saucisson sec fished from jars filled with herbed olive oil — and three hours later realize you’ve stayed for dinner.” He says that particular revelation comes about when, “You’ve polished off a delicious cocotte of falling-off-the-bone coq au vin (the closest thing to an entrée here), plus a fat, beautiful slice of perfectly caramelized apple tarte Tatin.” [TONY]

Sietsema Compares 900 Degrees to Domino’s; Sifton Likes Desmond’s