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Palo Santo

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Insieme Just Misses; One Big Up and One ‘Eh’ for P*ONG

Insieme’s bid for a third star went about the same way as Anthos’: two stars from Platt, then two stars from Bruni. [NYT] Related: Italian, Old and New [NYM] Randall Lane gives five of Time Out New York’s six stars to P*ONG. It’s the first major review the place has gotten, and more than enough to make up for getting dissed by the Sun. [TONY] Paul Adams, in the Sun, finds Pichet Ong’s creations irritatingly twee and precious, except for the desserts upon which the chef’s reputation is built. Adams puts his finger on the problem: “The same creativity that in the earlier courses gives rise to confusing, unsatisfying combinations is more successful when the unifying power of sugar is involved.” [NYS]

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One Reluctant Star to Morandi, Big Ups to Fette Sau

Having earlier disposed of Balthazar, Bruni moves on to Morandi and asks: “Is this tribute or burlesque?” Though he doesn’t dig the menu’s “greatest-hits approach,” he concedes Jody Williams’s food is “getting a worse rap than it deserves” (seems he read the Platt review). Final word: “Morandi can simply feel tired before its time, and not quite worth the struggle to get in and stay upright in the scrum.” [NYT] Spiga, meanwhile, isn’t taking a traditional approach and suffers for it, according to Tables for Two. Chef Salvatore Corea has ideas, but “too many ideas, in some cases”— starting with the cocoa gnocchi. [NYer] Sietsema brings his own Wonder bread to publicity-starved Fette Sau and finds baseball-bat beef ribs, spectacular brisket, damn good flank steak and shredded lamb “fragrant with the odor of pasturage.” [VV] Related: Williamsburg’s Weird Barbecue Place

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No Love for Love; Another Arty Eatery; Tapas That Rock

In this week's reviews, Cuozzo draws his six-shooter on Tim Love and Ted Turner, Ryan Sutton drinks the $12 bottled water at Gilt, Andrea Strong's blood boils over the pricey wines at Devin Tavern, and more. Cuozzo to Tim Love and Ted Turner: "Welcome to New York: Now leave!" [NYP] Ryan Sutton takes the temperature at Gilt now that the foam has cleared and finds that "if Liebrandt's cuisine was hyperactive, [new chef Christopher] Lee's is hyper-restrained." Though the grub's a bit cheaper, there's still a $12 "you just got fleeced'' fee on bottled water. [Bloomberg] Julia Moskin visits the Morgan's dining room, the latest in arty eateries, and finds the nicest restaurant salad she's had in years. Of the beef Wellington: "Some dishes, like musicals, should never be revived." [NYT] Paul Adams contemplates the sublime porkiness of Momofuku Ssäm Bar [NYS] At Palo Santo, a Pan-Latin joint on a Slope side street, $25-and-Under (not the super-stingy Meehan we've been loving) unearths off-the-menu items like beef-cheek asopado. [NYT] Reeling from "Spain's 10," Augie taps the tapas at Boqueria and finds they rock almost as hard as Jane's Addiction doing "Ripple." [Augieland] Taking up the good fight alongside Meehan, Andrea Strong visits Devin Tavern and her blood boils over the $40-plus wine list: "This is not very tavern like. Come on." [Strong Buzz] Ignoring the Gobbler's advice on how not to get made, the Amateur Gourmet is exposed at Country. [Amateur Gourmet] Katie Julian weighs in on the Tasting Room and agrees with everyone else: Some dishes work (porcini topped with a fried egg and crispy pork skin), and others don't (raw matsutake-mushroom slices drizzled with "cheese-pumpkin juice"). [NYer] BlackBook delves into Haute Barnyard at Flatbush Farm. [BlackBook]

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