The Other Critics

Sietsema Is Transported to Italy by Osteria Cotta’; Cuozzo Finds RedFarm ‘Adorable’

Julia Moskin recommends the “cheerful, clean” Tabata Noodle as “worth a quick jaunt for lunch.” Their seafood ramen is “bright and fresh, not funky,” vegetable toppings are “fresh,” and the eggs are “perfectly runny”; just be sure to request the thin noodles, which are “much springier” than the wide ones. [NYT]

At Osteria Cotta, Robert Sietsema is transported to Italy by the pizzas (“relatively close to Naples pies”) and appetizers (“two or three could happily make an entire meal”). But the real winners are the bruschetta, of which a ricotta-pesto version leaves him “still drooling,” and the “briny and smoky” linguine with baby clams that is “probably the city’s best version.” [VV]

In a double review, Sam Sifton awards South American diner Coppelia one star, while finding the trendy Miss Lily’s Favorite Cakes to be only “satisfactory.” At Coppelia, he raves about the “multifaceted” chicken wings, the “spicy and bright” guacamole, and the “wickedly moist” roast pork; the lomo saltado wins “best of all.” Over at Miss Lily’s, however, although the crowd is “otherworldly, as if resident in a game preserve,” the smoked mackerel salad is “impressive,” and the jerk chicken “credible,” the rest of the menu disappoints — in particular, the pork burger “with all the flavor of a pressed wet sawdust patty” and the $21 oxtail stew, which “would not rate on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn at a third that price.” [NYT]
Related: You Can’t Eat the Scenery [NYM]

Lauren Shockey feels mixed about Ellabess, the “eclectic” new restaurant in the newly opened Nolitan Hotel. Appetizers are worth a visit, in particular the “velevety” corn soup (“one of the best [she’s] had recently), a “swoon-worthy” peekytoe crab salad, and a seasonal vegetable salad. Entrees, however, are “nothing that will compel you to rush home to file a five-star Yelp review.” Only the “rustic,” “elegant” salmon with huckleberries and chanterelles “raises the bar.” Overall, Ellabess is “better than room service, but … ” [Fork in the Road/VV]

“Tables for Two” raves about her meal at the chaotically delicious Legend Bar & Restaurant, but warns diners “to go there with the flexibility you might reserve for foreign travel — if you arrive expecting logic and efficiency, you will leave feeling frustrated.” So, enjoy the disorganized ride and revel in the food instead. As the chef is formerly of Grand Sichuan Eastern, it’s wise to stick to the Chinese entrees — in particular, the “earthy” Dan Dan noodles (enough to “remind you that pasta originated in China, not Italy”), the “succulent” Chengu Duck, the Hot and Spicy Crispy Prawns, and the dry-sauteed pig intestines. [NYer]

Gael Greene revisits Lincoln Ristorante, a venue she reviewed with lukewarm results a year ago but that now leaves her asking “if this is the best Italian restaurant in town.” She raves about the appetizers: a housemade mozzarella-and-heirloom-tomato dish that “invokes the first Oh My God swoon,” a polenta freschi that causes “an almost drug-like reaction,” the pretty agnolotti in a “perfect” lamb sauce, and the “sensuous” gnudi with summer vegetables that “could send us all to the fat farm for a month.” The service she ranks as “very four-star,” and she promises that she’ll be back. [Insatiable Critic]

Steve Cuozzo finds West Village Chinese joint Red Farm both “adorable” and “buzzy,” if not perfect. The restaurant “vibrantly energizes” old favorites, and every dish comes out “freshly made” and in a presentation that’s “fun to look at.” Sauteed black cod is “splendid,” a chicken salad is “exuberantly pyramidal,” and the braised chicken hot pot is a winner. The real drawback is the crowd, which can lead to uneven service and a madhouse of a dining room. [NYP]

Ryan Sutton is pleased with the “terrific but tiny” Danji, a low-cost, “much-needed repreive from Midtown’s ubiquitous oil-doused Mediterranean restaurants.” Bulgogi sliders are a must, as are the fried tofu rolls (“what vegans dream of when they crave mozzarella sticks”). Their beef tartare, with toasted pine nuts and pear, is “one of the city’s best.” The fried chicken wings are passable, and avoid the pork belly buns altogether, but, for the price, Danji does the job. [Bloomberg]
Related: Seoul Food in Hell’s Kitchen

Sietsema Is Transported to Italy by Osteria Cotta’; Cuozzo Finds RedFarm