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Bar Blanc Bistro

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Bargain Bar Blanc

A new chef and a new cheap prix fixe.

By Alexandra Vallis

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]

Bar Blanc Draws Its Deuce; Mia Dona Welcomed by Richman

Frank Bruni finds Bar Blanc fussy, mannered, overly fastidious — and very, very good. The two stars should take the sting out of his review for the place's owners. [NYT] Related: Raising the Bar Restaurant Girl hits Williamsburg’s Zenkichi and, between the room, the food, and the sake selection, seems to have a real find on her hands. [NYDN] Randall Lane joins in the general enthusiasm for Dovetail , but now he seems unwilling to go back to his five-star-granting ways and so ends up giving them only four — the equivalent, in traditional star terms, to a two-star review, which is not what this reads as. [TONY]

Praise for 2nd Avenue Deli and Dovetail; Southgate Suffers

Frank Bruni can't help but make a one-act play out of his one-star 2nd Avenue Deli review: Sholom Aleichem by way of Oscar Wilde. A classic review, even if you don't come out of it knowing much about the food at 2nd Avenue Deli. [NYT] Reviewing on his blog, Alan Richman delivers a less colorful, but more accurate and knowing account, of the place, which is even more admiring. [GQ] Ryan Sutton isn't impressed one bit by Southgate — he thinks it's expensive and uninspired, broadly speaking. Not a whit of enthusiasm here. [Bloomberg]

Bar Carrera Getting Bigger in the East Village; Did We Mention Bar Blanc Is Like a Bar But Better?

Astoria: Tell Astorya doesn’t seem to be reopening anytime soon. [Joey in Astoria] Clinton Hill: Green Planet has opened with its shelves stocked with vitamins and drink mixes, but some still hope that actual produce could turn up. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The sliver of a Spanish restaurant Bar Carrera is expanding into the space next door. [Eater] Midtown West: South Gate has nifty, hand-held, touch-screen wine lists, which sound similar to the bar-top ones at Adour. [Zagat] West Village: Lucky couples (or specifically, husbands) who scored a table at One If by Land this Thursday will find the food finally on par with the carriage-house setting now that Picholine alum Craig Hopson is manning the beef Wellington and adding his own dishes — like Gruyère gnocchi with wild Burgundy snails — to the menu. [Bottomless Dish/Citysearch] Danyelle Freeman labels Bar Blanc "an ambitious restaurant in a laid-back disguise," almost like a watering hole with restaurant-caliber cooking. [Restaurant Girl] Related: One If by Land Breaks Out a Bar Menu, and Not a Minute Too Soon

Starbucks Nixes Breakfast Sandwiches; Kenny Shopsin Ready for Mind-Altering Substances

In addition to slowing its expansion (finally), Starbucks will halt “sales of hot breakfast sandwiches because their smell interferes with the aroma of coffee.” [WSJ] If Padma Lakshmi could eat anywhere right now, she’d head to a little taco stand in Mexico for some fish tacos on the beach. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Chelsea hot spot Stereo, which was closed by police earlier this month, will not be reopening at its current location because the landlord bought out the lease. [NYP]