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Omido

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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]

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Critics Like Chop Suey Despite Themselves; One Star for Ilili

Frank Bruni awards one star to Ilili, establishing the restaurant’s critical reception as generally admiring but far from ardent. Bruni uses it as an occasion to discourse on the current trend of highlighting previously low-rent genres, but he seems to have liked all the food and not found the prices or noise too distracting. [NYT] Steve Cuozzo wanted to hate Chop Suey, he really did. The name was dumb, and he was skeptical of consulting chef Zak Pelaccio, whose “résumé of short-lived eatery associations … is as long as his list of bona fide accomplishments is short.” But he loved the food and its “bold, explosive” flavors. [NYP] Ryan Sutton also plays the “better than it has any right to be” card with Chop Suey, declaring the place as “jolting, gorgeous, frightening” and reluctantly praising its Korean-themed food. [Bloomberg]

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Omido’s 10,000 Shinto Fortunes Were Acquired via Covert Operation

Reserve the private alcove at Omido for your next get-together, and on its ceiling you’ll find no less than 10,000 “omikuji,” rice-paper strips of approximately three inches by eight inches. Visitors to Shinto temples draw them at random in order to ascertain their fortunes, but Adam Farmerie, of design firm AvroKo, says that when he put them up, he wasn’t taking any chances with bad luck. When temples refused to sell to him directly because he was a Westerner who lived outside of Japan, he asked one of his Japanese colleagues to have her mother buy them in bulk in Tokyo and send him only the “good to average luck” fortunes. He didn’t want contractors hanging them, so, for three days, five AvroKo employees tied them up according to Japanese tradition. “It turned out to be more of a pain in the butt to install than we initially thought,” he says. “It was trying at times.” With the help of some effervescent backlighting, however, it turned out quite nicely — clearly a stroke of good fortune.

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Omido Chef and Maybe AvroKo to Join Chris Eddy in Nolita Project

Yesterday, we brought news that Chris Eddy, owner of barmarché, has plans for the Forty Deuce space; today, Eddy tells us that he’ll be joined in the venture by Omido chef-owner and founding SushiSamba chef Eliji “Taka” Takase. “We’ve been trying to do a restaurant for ten years now,” Eddy says. Can we assume that AvroKo, designers of Omido and owners of nearby Public, will be on board? Nothing is final yet, but it’s a very good assumption. Eddy plans to open in summer and says that, although certain neighbors are concerned about rising property values, he’s working with them and has been assured by the community board that, if he agrees to certain concessions, he’ll have a liquor license by February. Wherever Ivan Kane is these days, he must be sick with envy. Related: Chris Eddy of Barmarché and industry (food) Goes After Forty Deuce Space

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One Star and Thirteen Recommended Dishes for Centro Vinoteca; BLT Market Takes Its Lumps

Another somewhat capricious Frank Bruni review: He gives Centro Vinoteca one star, praising nearly everything he ate (there are thirteen recommended dishes) but complaining about the noise and crowds on the first floor and presumably on that basis withholding a second star. [NYT] Danyelle Freeman is so not impressed with BLT Market. According to her, the ingredients themselves aren’t even that good! But she likes the place enough to give it two stars anyway. [NYDN] The usually harder-to-please Alan Richman, on the other hand, had a much higher estimation of the place, except for the part about it smelling like shit. But that, he hopes, will pass with the warm weather. [Bloomberg]

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