The Other Critics

Sifton, Cheshes, Shockey Praise the Dutch; Sutton Calls Bar Boulud ‘Quiet and Comfortable’

Jay Cheshes praises the Dutch for “bringing real heat to Soho as Balthazar and Blue Ribbon did in the ’90s”; he calls the scene and food both “eclectic” and “electric.” “You can confidently pair cool matchstick asparagus … with an all-American rabbit potpie steaming under a showstopping dome of crackerlike crust,” he writes, “all of it tastes good — and, somehow, works well together.” [TONY]

Lauren Shockey agrees the food at the Dutch “deserves fanfare.” She calls the dressed-crab appetizer “a mountain of super-succulent meat basking in a pool of spiced, tangy tomato broth,” and the mini-fried-oyster sandwich “the bivalve buddy of Filet-o-Fish — in the most glorious way.” The steamed bass and veal pizzaiola “come up short,” but the fried chicken is so good she regrets that it’s only available for lunch or late night. [VV]

And with his two-star review, Sam Sifton crowns Andrew Carmellini’s the Dutch “the song of summer” for the “Gen X-Y food crazy elite.” He suggests a dark booth in the back to take down Carmellini’s New York version of American cooking — which complements classics like rib eye and Yukon potato mash with flavors from the south, Asia, Mexico, and Italy — and was particularly pleased by the “marvelous fried green tomatoes and Carolina shrimp,” and “transcendent, meltingly delicious lamb-neck mole.” It’s the beer-braised tripe with Fritos, lime, and avocado that sets the tone, though; he calls it “the culinary equivalent of Jay-Z playing cards in the kitchen of Rao’s with Harvey Keitel in the video for “Death of Autotune.” [NYT]

Robert Sietsema explores the curry-starch combinations at Chelsea’s Sri Lankan café Banana Leaf. Hoppers, godamba roti, cocoanut roti, and string hoppers can all be ordered with “a dark spicy curry made from your choice of chicken, kingfish, beef, squid, shrimp, or lamb.” He deems the island’s celebrated black curry with pork as the best of the entrees, deepened by the toasted curry spices also used in a drink made from woodapple, a creamy, sweet and fruity “thirst-quencher,” to which “you’ll become immediately addicted.” [VV]

Boulud Sud “succeeds best when it highlights the meatier side of the Mediterranean,” asserts Ryan Sutton, “serv[ing] one of New York’s finest Wagyu steaks.” The lamb-meatball soup is “at its unrestrained best,” and he has equal praise for the chicken tagine. The non-meat dishes are less successful; the “baked cod delivers none of the promised flavors of za’atar” and saffron pasta served with the Bottarga is mushy. He writes, “Boulud Sud is everything Bar Boulud is not: Quiet and comfortable,” but “this Lyonnaise chef needs to make the flavors of the Mediterranean sing out and pop as they should.” [Bloomberg]

Sifton, Cheshes, Shockey Praise the Dutch; Sutton Calls Bar Boulud ‘Quiet