Harold Dieterle Explains Why He Loves BangkokIn a random but oddly enjoyable interview with Harold Dieterle, the Perilla chef and Top Chef laureate tells Gridskipper he loves Bangkok for its duck and deep-tissue massages — but not that kind.
Debriefer: Top Chef Harold Dieterle [Gridskipper]
In the Magazine
A ‘Top Chef’ Surprise and Other Summer Treats
The lull of midsummer is already over, and new growths sprout everywhere. A young chef gives his first restaurant a go, a veteran gets his own place for the first time, and an established star gets a fresh start. We have restaurant openings, new and better lemonades, and even a baked squash blossom. Summer is starting to tire, but the food stays sharp.
The Other Critics
Perilla Found to be Basically Okay; Richman Loves Balthazar Even More Than ThePerilla tried to be sober and sane, and what was the result? One star from Frank Bruni. But that’s still pretty good for a first-time effort, even by a ‘Top Chef.’ [NYT]
It’s no surprise Alan Richman approves of Balthazar, given his fondness for insouciance in restaurants. He all but opens the floodgates of his enthusiasm for Keith McNally’s flagship. [Bloomberg]
Related: Why Is Alan Richman So in Love With Brooklyn?
In an apparent effort to differentiate the two once and for all, Andrea Thompson considers both the Farm on Adderley and Flatbush Farm in one column. But read closer, and only one entrée is mentioned at each place, a disservice to both. [NYer]
The Other Critics
Hill Country Triumphs; Perilla Gets Measured Praise, Three Times OverPeter Meehan hails Hill Country as the barbecue to beat in New York, at least as far as beef is concerned: “[The deckle brisket] is a thing of balance and of beauty.” [NYT]
As much as Meehan liked the place, Steve Cuozzo may like it even more, not hesitating to crown it New York’s best: “Lots of New York places now claim to have ‘real’ barbecue, and some truly do. But until they catch up with Hill Country, they’re just blowing smoke.” [NYP]
15 East feels the glow of two-star approval, especially for its star octopus. Ushiwakamaru, though not as good, is cheaper, and that’s worth something. [NYT]
The Other Critics
Landmarc Steals More Stars; Mercat Earns First KudosFrank Bruni inexplicably grants a star to a restaurant with zero ambience, overdone pastas, “tame entrées,” and a “loud” room that’s “dreary at night.” Which is what Adam Platt and everybody else said about Landmarc TWC, though without granting a star for the accomplishment. [NYT]
Related: Off the Mark [NYM]
Landmarc somehow coaxed three of six stars out of Randall Lane, despite comparable comments on uneven food and a room filled with rebars. The wine list seems to have been the saving grace. [TONY]
Mobbed Mercat gets the Paul Adams seal of approval, its first major positive review, which compares it favorably to Boqueria and praises it for special authenticity. Only the desserts are denied praise, and at that point in the review, it hardly matters. [NYS]
The Other Critics
Anthos Misses Its Mark; Provence’s First RaveUnlike Adam Platt, who thought Anthos inferior to Dona, Frank Bruni likes it better; he seems almost pained to have to deny the place a third star. But the drab room and overwhelmed fish keep Michael Psilakis’s dream of a three-star Greek restaurant from coming true — yet. [NYT]
Related: Greek Revival [NYM]
Time Out’s Randall Lane hits Williamsburg BBQ Fette Sau and is struck by how good some of the meats are, and how unbelievably bad the sauce is. That’s pretty much in keeping with what everybody else has said, but Lane is the first to make much-needed points about the effect of keeping pulled pork exposed in a chafing tray, and how ill-fit pork belly is for the smoke treatment. [TONY]
Related: Fette Sau’s Weird Williamsburg Barbecue Palace [Grub Street]
Moira Hodgson’s rave makes the relaunched Provence sound really, really good — a great omen for their future critical reception. The old Provence was good, but neither the service nor the food was on a level you would want to face a battery of critics with. [NYO]
New York’s Restaurant Jungle Grows a Little Lusher
When spring comes, branches and leaves appear in the most unexpected places. This week’s food coverage is like that: There are no huge openings, analogous to maples or firs springing up overnight, but rather a rich carpet of new sprouts and saplings. Rob and Robin glory in the pig-out that is Resto, the new Belgian restaurant on Park Avenue South; Gael Greene stops in to enjoy the immense, spanking-new Landmarc in the Time Warner Center; David Chang knows just what to do with the long-awaited, precious ramps in In Season; and other unexpected treats, from a waterside barbecue in one of the Short Lists to a slew of spring Openings fill out the foliage.
Harold Dieterle’s Perilla to Open … on Jones Street!For someone who cooked his way into the national consciousness on broadcast television, season-one Top Chef Harold Dieterle is taking a surprisingly low-profile approach to the imminent opening of his Greenwich Village restaurant Perilla. An Asian-food fanatic whose signature dish is steamed Thai snapper, the Long Island–raised, CIA-trained chef named the place after an aromatic plant also known as shiso but has kept its location a closely guarded secret. But even the best-laid plans are sometimes foiled by a paper trail: Thanks to a notice of public hearing for a liquor-license application we spotted in the corner of the paper-covered window at 9 Jones Street, just off West 4th Street, the secret is out. Dieterle hasn’t officially confirmed it, but unless there are two Greenwich Village restaurants named after an obscure Asian leaf on the horizon, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before Perilla opens in the space previously occupied by Inside (and before that, Drover’s Tap Room) and Dieterle faces an even tougher panel of judges: the New York dining public. — Rob Patronite & Robin Raisfeld