The Other Critics

Sifton Delights in Boulud Sud; Cheshes Calls Salinas ‘More Impressive’ Than the Setting Suggests

Boulud Sud is the Manhattan equivalent of a private yacht anchored off Monaco, serving the food of Sardinia, Greece, Tunisia, Gibraltar, Beirut,” Sam Sifton gushes in his two-star review. “To start, dive into a bread-thickened Andalusian gazpacho bright with acidity and cucumbers, then crunch into grilled blue prawns cooked to the sweet and precise moment when they count as cooked and not raw.” The critic concedes the grilled veal Milanese and vitello tonnato “miss the mark,” but calls octopus a la plancha and crisp-fried artichoke hearts “fantastic,” saffron linguine with razor clams and bottarga “a delight,” and dessert chef Ghaya Oliveira’s grapefruit givré one “for the win.” [NYT]

In The New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield gets into the “old-timey feel” of the Castello Plan in Ditmas Park. Though not a “culinary destination,” she appreciates the “extensive and interesting” wine list and finds that “it’s a lovely place to have a glass or three,” despite the twice-weekly live music that “can be deafening.” As for food, the “best offerings are straightforward and tasty, if a bit heavy: beer-battered shrimp, rib eye with puréed yam, rosewater panna cotta,” and the worst are “wildly incongruous combinations like butter-poached squid atop smashed stone fruit.” [NYer]

Robert Sietsema is wowed by the “Moby Dick” of a Chinese food court in the basement of the New World Mall in Flushing. Of the 28 stalls representing different regions, he is disappointed by the Sichuan fare, spicy but missing the “anesthetic tingle of ma la peppercorns,” but more satisfied by a Beijing stall’s cold skin noodles, Tainjin Foods’ “excellent fried pork dumplings,” and Lanzhou Homemade’s “hand-pulled noodles served in soups [that] were some of the best in town.” [VV]

Jay Cheshes approves of the “authentic tapas style dining” at Salinas and writes, “much of the food […] is more impressive than the loungey setting suggests.” Chef Luis Bollo’s food features “plenty of everything, and sometimes too much”: The sepia “frito” is a “rambunctious and delicious mess” of tossed “steamed clams, fresh fennel, pickled peppers, potato and spicy aioli,” and his rossejat, the “noodle paella from Catalonia” with “its toasted vermicelli tangled around plump cockles, chewy chorizo and dry hunks of chicken, with potent aioli on top” is “soulful” despite the overcooked meat. [TONY]

Sifton Delights in Boulud Sud; Cheshes Calls Salinas ‘More