The Other Critics

Asimov Loves Fatty ’Cue; Sutton and Cuozzo Hit the Crown

Eric Asimov awards the new Fatty ‘Cue two stars in a rave, calling it a “witty, creative and delicious mashup of traditions from Southeast Asia, Europe and the American South.” Asimov recommends the shareable plates of deep-fried bacon, which is “not nearly as oily as it might sound,” and fried rabbit (“the best fried chicken in town!”). [NYT]

La Esquina “has always been known more for its scene than its food.” But at the new Cafe de La Esquina in Williamsburg, the huitlacoche quesadillas are “irresistible,” and meatballs in mole sauce have “near-mystical depth.” Of the misses, Ligaya Mishan writes, “You can forgive a lot after a few margaritas” — including the inevitably high bill. [NYT]

Chuko is a ramen joint, but its finest dish is a salad,” writes Mishan of Prospect Heights’ new-ish noodle outlet. “The vegetables, infused with unexpected swagger, command attention,” and “the noodles, tailored to each soup, have good tooth. But the broths are callow.” [NYT]

Robert Sietsema raves about the Indian Clove, which, “despite its obscure location not far from Staten Island’s Atlantic coast … might be the great multi-regional Indian restaurant we’ve all been waiting for.” In fact, “the menu doesn’t have a boring moment.” Chicken kebabs are “good enough to make me relax my rule to never order boneless chicken breast for any reason,” chicken 65 is “a plate of McNuggets gone berserk in a bright-red buttermilk marinade,” and the restaurant “has one of Gotham’s most diverse lists” of tandoori options.” [VV]

With Mas (la grillade), diners are faced with “the question of whether a restaurant can successfully champion a single cooking style,” writes Lauren Shockey. At this restaurant, “restraint is certainly the culinary leitmotif, but it works by challenging the notion that simple equals boring.” The smoke roasted chicken “ranks as one of the best birds I’ve had all year.” This, Shockey says, “is campfire cooking for the 1 percent.” [VV]

“Tables for Two” visits Redfarm, “New York’s trendiest farm-to-table Jewish-deli/Chinese-restaurant mash-up,” which is packed because it “is a Chinese restaurant like no other.” “The fact that there are cocktails at all — not to mention a Yellowtail-free wine list — is unusual,” and the menu “is even more surprising.” Kung pao dumplings are a “brilliantly simple invention that makes you wonder why it’s not everywhere.” And a deep-fried pastrami eggroll “is exactly as delicious as it sounds.” [NYer]

“I was ready to hate Crown on the first night I ventured into the Lion king John DeLucie’s ‘continental’ joint,” writes Steve Cuozzo. “But food that’s too familiar isn’t necessarily easy to do well, and Crown does it very well.” Thick lamb chops are “heavenly,” the aged bone-in tenderloin “delivered concentrated essences of blood and brawn,” and beef short rib tortellini had “satisfying heft.” The restaurant is “a future Lion for Lion-goers grown-up 20 years.” [NYP]

Ryan Sutton awards Crown one star; although he agrees that the food is decent, his quibble is with the service. “After you fill up on sweet, pristine Nantucket bay scallops or a great, flaky turbot, you’ll still leave Crown hungry for some Danny Meyer-style hospitality.” He writes that “waiters are as likely to steal glasses when there’s still a sip left as they are to leave empty glasses untouched” while “you watch your $46 lamb chops get cold.” In terms of food, “silk handkerchief pasta ($26) is your go-to middle course,” and, for the mains: “eat red meat” or “DeLucie’s killer duck.” [Bloomberg]

Asimov Loves Fatty ’Cue; Sutton and Cuozzo Hit the Crown