Bar Boulud, Loved at Last; Cuozzo Not on the Dovetail Bandwagon“It’s a new era, and Bar Boulud belongs to it.” That’s why, even though the hot items are mostly “snoozers,” the restaurant deserves two stars. Another Zeitgeist review from Frank Bruni. [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo doesn’t give out stars, but if he did, he wouldn’t be giving three to Dovetail, whose stellar critical reception he recapitulates in a forceful, acerbic review. “The Times’ Frank Bruni, who found ‘drab’ décor at Anthos a reason to deny that truly original, forward-Greek place three stars, overlooked Dovetail’s butt-ugly brown palette to exult over the likes of — holy cow! — monkfish and lobster on the same plate.” [NYP]
Writing on his GQ blog, Alan Richman obliterates Brasserie Les Halles, but why? Who was thinking about it, anyway? And who thought it was good? The review seems conceived as a blow against Tony Bourdain, but it does him no harm. [GQ]
Fire Puts Olana Out of Commission Till ThursdayTalk about working out the kinks. On Saturday around 11 p.m. diners at newcomer Olana were ushered out of the restaurant when a small electrical fire broke out. “Nothing was really damaged,” a rep told us. “There was one bathroom that had a little bit of damage, but nothing really visible otherwise.” We’re told the FDNY has given the all-clear, but the restaurant probably won’t reopen till Thursday. Ah well, at least everyone who hadn’t paid got a freebie out of it.
Drink-Special Fakers in Astoria Get Called Out, But One of This Week’s OpeningsAstoria: Sabry’s at 24–25 Steinway whips up a shrimp and calamari tagine that’s “not only visually appealing but full of tomatoey goodness.” [Joey in Astoria] Fatty’s Cafe lied to Joey and Foodista about serving Valentine’s Day drink specials; everything was regularly priced. Not cool. [Foodista]
Dumbo: A relatively budget kitchenware shop called Leader Trading Company has opened at 160 Water Street. [Dumbo NYC]
Flatiron: The Corpse Reviver at Hudson Valley–inspired Olana is a “smooth mix of Lillet, Tanqueray, Cointreau, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice in an absinthe-tempered glass.” [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch]
Midtown West: The head chef of the Chapati Roll/Biriyani Cart at 46th near Sixth Avenue “has returned after two and a half months in Bangladesh” and has added a vegetarian Aloo Gobi roll, with curried potatoes and cauliflower, to the short menu. [Midtown Lunch]
Tribeca: Dennis Foy now serves a $24.08 three-course prix fixe lunch on weekdays and a weekend brunch featuring macadamia-nut granola, orange- and almond-dipped French toast, and pancakes with dulce de leche gelato. [Grub Street]
West Village: Next Wednesday is Dominican Independence Day, and Havana Alma De Cuba will have a native Dominican rolling complimentary cigars to go with your mojito. [Grub Street]
In the Magazine
Platt Disses Daniel, and Other Holiday TalesPresidents’ Day is a holiday for Grub Street, but, thankfully, there’s enough in this week’s magazine to read till we return tomorrow. Daniel Boulud, whom Adam Platt respects as the Last Great French Chef, falls down in his new restaurant and gets only one star. In this week’s “Openings,” Rob and Robin introduce us to Olana (American with Italian influences) and marvel at Akhtar Nawab and Noel Cruz for putting a restaurant where Jimi Hendrix used to (reportedly) play. At Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Rob and Robin find the mind-bending “Frankensteak”: hanger steak that is literally glued to world-class rib-eye deckle. The Insatiable Critic falls for Fiore, a funky, rustic Italian place in Williamsburg; for those at risk of scurvy, pickled lemon is in “In Season” this week. But if you want a drink, you’ll find a guide to the city’s top boutique wineshops by the Gastropoda herself, Regina Schrambling.