The Other Critics

Square Peg ‘Wows’ ’Em; La Calaca Feliz’s Tacos Bring ‘Rabid Joy’

• In what must be a first — filing a review while the restaurant is still in its soft-opening phase — Phyllis Stein-Novack delivers the lowdown on Square Peg. Though she famously panned Chef Matt Levin’s work at his totally-not-square Adsum, she prefaces this review with praise of his culinary creativity at Lacroix. For Levin’s “down-home menu of comfort foods,” she was “wowed.” The tacos in a bag, a riff on Frito pie, she writes, was a “whimsical way of serving carnitas and corn chips.” The grilled romaine salad’s “smoky aroma and flavor… pleased our taste buds.” And the fish and chips “would have delighted even the most finicky Englishman.” [South Philly Review]

• Brian Freedman piles on the praise for Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s Vedge, which he writes, “does more to bridge the chasm between the artificially distant worlds of the omnivore and the vegan than any restaurant I’ve ever visited.” And while there, he marvels at Landau’s “well-honed technique and exciting, unexpected spicing” that gets him waxing “not only didn’t [he] miss the animal products, but began to wonder at a certain point why [he’d] grown so reliant on them.” [PW]

• Though La Calaca Feliz’s michelada “disappointed” Adam Erace, he enjoyed the “summery aperitif and a cozy nightcap all in one” that the “dashing” Grateful Dead inspired, chamomile-laced tequila and honey-laden King Bee. The “smoky flank steak dappled with chimichurri” was no match for the “rabid joy” that the carnitas tacos conjures up. And the “feather-light” tres leches cake that’s topped with mango and kiwi, he writes, is the “finest of pastry chef Adriane Appleby’s wares.” [Citypaper]

Square Peg ‘Wows’ ’Em; La Calaca Feliz’s Tacos Bring