The Other Critics

Sietsema Is Well Fed at the Cardinal; Sutton Spots the Zeitgeist at Tertulia

Robert Sietsema thought the Cardinal “didn’t seem promising,” in part because “the menu looked too much like Pies ‘n’ Thighs” and also that “one of the reputed owners … was Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel.” He was ultimately put at ease by the premises, which reminded him of the “East Village of yore” and, more important, by the Southern comfort food. The menu’s featured fried chicken is “crisp and dripping with juices,” but Sietsema finds that the “catfish is superior,” and the barbecue is “superb.” [VV]

Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton gives Tertulia two and a half stars, saying, “Is this three-star food? Yes, though if this were a three-star restaurant, Mullen would regulate the crowds … cut the 90-minute waiting time, take reservations … add soundproofing (the noise can exceed 80 decibels) and teach staffers not to drop stuff on the hard floors.” [Bloomberg]

Jones Wood Foundry is an “Upper East Side mecca for ‘charismatic’ British classics” that “is anything but plain vanilla,” Steve Cuozzo writes. Chef-partner Jason Hicks “celebrate[s] Britain’s pub legacy” by “making everything fresh from better raw materials,” making “antiquated items like salt-cod mash taste new” and “often grim potted shrimp is transformed with ‘locally’ potted shrimp.” The “menu’s soul lies in Hicks’ extensive ‘toast’ list” and though the “roast chicken [was] dry,” the fish and chips with haddock is deemed a good bet. [NYP]

“Tables for Two” takes a look at Jamaican hot spot Miss Lily’s and finds that despite the “racy” nightlife vibe where “most people are not coming here for a square meal,” the “menu is full of oddly heavy choices for what is really a nightclub, and dinner has an unfussy, home-cooked feel.” [NYer]

Sam Sifton pronounces Per Se “the best restaurant in New York City,” adding that he says so “unreservedly.” The critic recounts memorable “Keller Klassics” such as his “Oysters and Pearls” to superlative butter-poached lobster. In the end, “no restaurant in New York City does a better job than Per Se of making personal and revelatory the process of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on food and drink.” [NYT]

The Times’ Ligaya Mishan visits Williamsburg’s Manhattan-esque Masten Lake, where chef Angelo Romano “aspires to create more than the rustic feel-good American fare generally found in these parts.” Though the menu “changes nightly,” and Mishan suggests you “pray for pork trotter ragu, brawny and profound, infiltrating every cranny of petal-shaped cencioni.” [NYT]

The Times also took on newish falafel joint Kulushkät, in Park Slope. The falafel “is a bundle of contradictions: crisp yet moist, airy yet creamy. Deep-fried until dark gold, it betrays not a glimmer of oil.” [NYT]

Hospoda gets one more review from Gael Greene, who finds that inside the Czech newcomer “there’s something quite winning about the room, a feeling that we can’t possibly be in New York.” Tucking into the meal, Greene wishes that her Prague-style ham had been paired with “horseradish cream, not tasteless foam.” On the other hand, “the variations of potato — boiled, mashed, fried chips — with cottage cheese, milk skin, purslane and lovage oil — are fussily arranged but actually good.” [Insatiable Critic]

Sietsema Is Well Fed at the Cardinal; Sutton Spots the Zeitgeist at Tertulia