The Other Critics

Ring-a-Ding-Ding: Jamonera Scores Three Bells; ‘There Is Hope’ For Popolino

• In his three-bell review of their latest effort, the Spanish tapas bar Jamonera, Craig LaBan gushes over Marcie Turney and Valarie Safran’s “talent for melding rustic flavors with… creative and seasonal touches,” and “eye for design details,” respectively. With its “smoky wisp of pimenton Spanish paprika, a squirt of lemon, and garlic chips,” the black, squid-ink-marinated calamari he calls “stunning.” The oyster sliders, he writes, “reverts to an old habit of overloading plates,” as well as gambas al ajillo and potato-mashed salt cod, which he says pairing was “a mistake.” Despite the missteps, he says that that “ambition” and “overall execution” are “compelling enough” and things that can be “easily tweaked as Jamonera continues grow.” [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace’s expectations for Peter McAndrews’ Popolino were “crumpled” with the clumsy execution of an “impostor” carbonara that was “the pallor and viscosity of skim milk.” Slips in service resulted in dishes being dropped off “with the reticence of bitter exes sharing custody.” With former Barbuzzo chef Chris Davis taking over, Erace writes, “there is hope” for Popolino. [CP]

Ring-a-Ding-Ding: Jamonera Scores Three Bells; ‘There Is Hope’ For