The Other Critics

Asimov Renews Yasuda’s Three Stars; Sutton Takes a Turn Loving Roberta’s

Eric Asimov revisits Sushi Yasuda and upholds the three stars it was awarded in 2000. “Yasuda occupies a singular position in New York’s sushi landscape,” from the simple, soothing decor to the excellence of the preparation of its dishes. Prepare to be dazzled by the “pure, uncompromised expression of the traditional art of sushi making,” a “parade of sushi” that includes “buttery sea scallop,” “tender eel,” and “sea urchin so intense, complex, subtle and soulful it sends shivers down [Asimov’s] spine.” [NYT]

“It doesn’t take a magician to convert food to fantasy,” Steve Cuozzo writes, but La Promenade des Anglais “pulls it off with adorable elan.” “The sexy bar” is just “made for flirting,” and “the glow from chandeliers and sconces makes everyone in the house look good.” The atmosphere “makes the food more fun, too”: arctic char with duck-fat potatoes is “fully realized and satisfying,” and lamb osso buco is “luscious” here. “But the menu’s stealth heroes are pasta and grain dishes,” such as the “winning” olive-oil risotto with cuttlefish ragu. [NYP]

Ligaya Mishan checks out the new East Village Filipino joint Maharlika, which, although billed as “modern,” really offers “home cooking boosted by good ingredients and classical technique.” “The menu is a work in progress,” but it does feature standouts like arroz calda (“rice swollen from soaking up the best chicken soup you’ve ever had”) and sisig, about which Mishan advises to “not let a morsel escape.” [NYT]

Robert Sietsema visits the fourth Malaysian restaurant in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, Banana Leaf, and raves about the “fascinating synthesis of Chinese, Indian, European, and aboriginal influences.” Newbies should start off with nasi lemak, a plate of dark curry chicken with all the traditional accoutrements. Other winning dishes include “flaky, buttery” roti canal, the traditional chili crab, and asam laksa, “a super-sour soup scented with lemongrass and dried fish — for that skanky wallop you can’t forget.” [VV]

“A barrage of little things with big flavor” is what you’ll find at Buvette, writes “Tables for Two.” The “romantic” West Village restaurant, “styled to evoke a Provence kitchen,” “is a place to eat or drink at any time of the day.” Enjoy the “exemplary” viandes “soft and tender” coq au vin, and “savory, meaty lentils with kale.” Every dish is served French-tapas-style, but “after a while, you get used to the diminutive proportions and start to look forward to having just a bite or two of everything.” [NYer]

Ryan Sutton tastes the “culinary magic” being put forth by Roberta’s and, with his two-star review, deems it “one of New York’s most deeply satisfying Italian-American restaurants.” “Inhale: Roberta’s smells of oak embers, always; of toasted garlic, sometimes; of pricey perfume, never.” And the food is good, without being too pricey. A dish of Wagyu beef and sturgeon eggs is “a Le Bernardin-quality surf-and-turf,” and the skirt steak and the pork chop are “massively flavorful.” Some entrees, like the skate and the lamb aren’t worth it; “stick with elegant small plates” and the pizzas, which are “among the city’s best.” [Bloomberg]

Asimov Renews Yasuda’s Three Stars; Sutton Takes a Turn Loving