The Other Critics

Daily News Still Loves Balthazar; Tejal Rao Keen on Governor

We're not sure why the <em>Daily News</em> reviewed Balthazar, but they did.
We’re not sure why the Daily News reviewed Balthazar, but they did. Photo: Shanna Ravindra

This week, our critics sat out a round of reviewing grub. But what did their professional-eater peers think of the city’s restaurants this week? Read about what they ate and what they thought straight ahead.

If you can get past the hour-or-longer line and the fact that hostesses at Rosemary’s won’t call you when your table is ready, Pete Wells suggests a brightly flavored lemon-chile linguine, fruity di mare antipasta, and lardo focaccia at the West Village eatery, to which he awards one star.

Catch may be popular with the celebrity set, but The New Yorker says that’s because it’s over-the-top. There’s the loud samba music, overly long menu, and a $25 tequila cocktail. The best dish (whole snapper) is $72, and many of the dishes come from different cuisines (or aren’t seafood at all). Eating at the meatpacking spot feels “dated” and “too determinedly downtown.”

Tejal Rao likes Governor in Dumbo because it’s so Brooklyn — but in a different way. Instead of roasted marrow bones, kale, and pork belly, there’s a cooling lobster consommé and oysters poached in lobster roe on top of housemade sourdough slices. Chef Brad McDonald’s cuisine is tinged with Southern roots, and his food, while offbeat, is definitely delicious, Rao says.

Robert Sietsema notes that there’s (finally) a homestyle take on Malaysian and Singaporean food in the East Village. At Masak, the decor is rustic Victorian (like a second-class cabin on an ocean liner), and the food is surprisingly approachable. He suggests the chile crab dip served with deep-fried mantou breads and the Devil Chicken — crunchy-skinned, with black sauce made thick with palm-sugar syrup.

He likes it! Hey, Mikey! Ryan Sutton has found the “world’s best $9 hamburger” — and it’s not a burger at all. It’s the meaty (veal, sausage, cheese, and breadcrumbs) meatball parm at … Parm. Topped with mozzarella and marinara, this two-handed creation is one of many cheap delights Sutton recommends at the Italian-American joint.

The Daily News’s Michael Kaminer gives Keith McNally’s fifteen-year-old French-inspired bistro, Balthazar, a four-star review. All the classics are still spot-on, he notes: escargots, French-onion soup, chicken liver, and foie gras mousse. And entrées like steak au poivre and salade nicoise manage to stay fresh.

Daily News Still Loves Balthazar; Tejal Rao Keen on Governor