Displaying all articles tagged:

Randall Lane

Most Recent Articles

Richman Lambastes Landmarc; Has Sietsema Lost His Mind?

Robert Sietsema reviews what might be the most un-Sietsema-like place imaginable, a twee Williamsburg bistro called Juliette. “The snails in anise butter are fab, and so is the whole steamed artichoke flaunting a festive champagne vinaigrette.” Okay, call the FBI. The real Robert Sietsema has obviously been kidnapped. [VV] “Think too much and you'll find the place hard to like”: Alan Richman sees the new Landmarc for what it is – a stark, expensive, underachieving restaurant with few niceties of service or cooking – but still manages to find something nice to say about the steaks. [Bloomberg] Related: Will Landmarc's Downtown Cool Play Alongside Its Ritzy New Neighbors? [Grub Street] Frank Bruni had a high old time at Resto, so much so that he gave the place a shocking two stars. Expect all future reviews to react to this hyperbole by taking pains to note the place’s shortcomings.[NYT] Related: Brussels Sprout [NYM]

Anthos Misses Its Mark; Provence’s First Rave

Unlike 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]

Fette Sau and 15 East Get Strong Endorsements From the Experts

Peter Meehan gives a highly thought-out, admiring review (probably the most knowledgeable one so far) of Fette Sau, taking pain to mention the place’s few but significant shortcomings. [NYT] Related: Fette Sau’s Weird Williamsburg Barbecue Palace [Grub Street] Alan Richman, a person with highly developed opinions about sushi, thinks 15 East a great find: “If you have pricey seafood cravings without the wherewithal to finance them, I don't believe you can do better than 15 East,” he says. [Bloomberg] Frank Bruni inexplicably reviews Max Brenner: Chocolates by the Bald Man, a place that no one would ever expect to be good. Unsurprisingly, he hands them a bagel. [NYT] Related: Milking It [NYM]

Love and Hate for the Inn LW12; Esca Pulls Even With Babbo

The Sun’s Paul Adams considers the Inn LW12 an out-and-out Canadian restaurant, to a greater extent than anyone else has, and praises the poutine, a Québécois version of disco fries, along with the rest of the menu. [NYS] Poutine aside, Randall Lane thinks the Inn LW12 is a snobby “poseur sanctuary” still carrying the taint of Lotus, owner Jeffrey Jah’s other place. [TONY] Esca gets a third star from the Times, moving it even with Babbo, and reminding everybody that David Pasternack is not just Mario’s fish guy, but one of the city’s great chefs. [Esca]

Anthos Gets a Rave; More Knocks for Morandi

Randall Lane gives Anthos its first full-out rave, granting the restaurant five of six stars and writing about it in adoring terms. It's a rare move for Lane, and a good omen for the more powerful critics still to come. [TONY] At times, Alan Richman likes the food at Morandi a lot, but when it's late and the place gets busy, he considers it to be a kind of restaurant hell. He won’t be going back after 9 p.m. “any time in my life.” [Bloomberg] Paul Adams felt much the same about Morandi, calling out its fine fried foods but dissing its heavy pastas, “theme park” atmosphere, and lousy entrées. It’s unanimous: The critics all dislike Morandi. Meanwhile, Keith McNally is crying all the way to the bank. [NYS] Related: Not So Bene [NYM]

Morandi Takes Another Hit; a Haute Barnyard Spree

The Four Seasons gets perhaps the most negative two-star review in the history of the Times; Bruni seems to think the stars were grandfathered in. A telling example of how reputation floats reviews. [NYT] Meehan, meanwhile, visits a chowhound's paradise, a Hindu temple in Flushing. [NYT] Morandi takes another blow, this time from Time Out’s Randall Lane, who like our own Adam Platt, finds it overdesigned and unimpressive, albeit with a few decent dishes. [TONY] Related: Not So Bene [NYM]

‘New Yorker’ Backs Up the Chowhounds; Sietsema Uncovers a Food Court’s Secrets

The New Yorker discovers Sripraphai, and though baffled by its vast and uneven menu, admits that the chowhounds were right to glorify the place. [NYer] Sietsema provides his readers with a major service this week, guiding them through one of the city’s best and most baffling food courts in the Flushing’s J&L Mall [VV] Rosanjin gets the two-star Bruni treatment in its first review, and seems to only have missed a third star by reason of anticlimactic later courses. Still, an auspicious start. [NYT]

Dueling Views on Morandi; Varietal Taken to Task

Morandi gets absolutely slaughtered by Steve Cuozzo. Keith McNally has hardly received a bad review yet. [NYP] Meanwhile, Moira Hodgson loves the place: “You’ll want to taste everything on this menu.” She seems to have liked all of it, with the possible exception of an overpriced veal chop. Did these two even go to the same restaurant? [NYO] Bruni one-stars Varietal, calling the food creative but uneven and lambasting avant-garde dessert chef Jordan Kahn, who has enjoyed a lot of critical love. The desserts “don’t so much eschew convention as pummel and shatter it — literally, and often pointlessly.” [NYT]

Everybody Loves Sfoglia; Meehan Loves All BBQ

Bruni two-stars Sfoglia, the latest victory in a series for the Nantucket import, including nods from Adam Platt and Gael Greene in our Best of New York issue. The food is simple and rustic (frittatas, simple pastas), but it works for Bruni. Imagination can get you two stars, as the Ssäm Bar review showed last week, but so can execution, even if it isn’t very elaborate. [NYT] Peter Meehan surveys nearly all the area’s BBQ restaurants, finding a lot to like: the pulled pork at Pies-N-Thighs and the burnt ends at RUB, to name two. Still, no revelations here. [NYT] Sietsema hits up a Senegalese restaurant in Harlem: “Predictably, the dibi is awesome.” You said it, Bob! Has Sietsema ever met a foreign lamb dish he didn’t like? [VV]

Chodorow Sure to Be Pissed Over New ‘Times’ Steakhouse Review

This one is bound to kill Chodorow. Bruni visits a steakhouse even more vulgar than Kobe Club and awards it one star: Robert’s Steakhouse, inside the Penthouse Executive Club. Adam Perry Lang, as most recognize, is one of the city’s top meat guys. [NYT] Meehan affirms that Kefi’s has terrific food at a bargain. He notes that it was strangely quiet the nights he was there, but that has changed, we’re told, since the Underground Gourmet gave the restaurant four stars. [NYT] Think of this less as a review of Gilt than an excuse for Steve Cuozzo to acknowledge Chris Lee, one of the city’s most underappreciated chefs, whose ill fortune it was to follow Paul Liebrandt and his alienating high-concept cookery. [NYP]

Ssäm Bar Vindicated; Haute Cuisine Gets No Love

Momofuku Ssäm Bar wins two stars (!) from Bruni and completes a success story that seemed pretty unlikely a few months ago, when the place was selling Asian burritos to a handful of customers. The review is also a watershed in the changing culture of restaurants: Formal is now officially out, casual now officially legit. [NYT] Related: The I Chang [NYM] Meanwhile, Randall Lane is a lone dissenter, calling out Ssäm Bar for its unevenness, lack of focus, and the steep prices of some of its main dishes. On the whole, though, he seems to have missed the point — David Chang's loose, unfettered approach to good cooking. [TONY] Steve Cuozzo joins in the chorus of approval greeting Wayne Nish’s transformation of the stuffy March into the swinging, fusion-y Nish. The message: Remain formal at your own peril. (See reviews of Dennis Foy and Gordon Ramsay.) [NYP] Related: Bedeviled [NYM]

It's Final: Ramsay's Dull; March Gets Romantic

Bruni goes to Gordon Ramsay and finds common ground with everyone else, saying it’s well executed, flawless even — and totally uninspiring. Even the paint is dull! (Two stars.) [NYT] In keeping with his recent interest in the international, Meehan visits a Romanian restaurant with garlicky spreads in Sunnyside. Still, despite the Sphinx, the place still doesn’t sound all that interesting. [NYT] March reborn as Nish: It's more romantic, thanks to more intimate seating, exotic ingredients, and dishes that “broadly evoked the cuisine of chef Gray Kunz: international spices used with local ingredients and French technique.” Who isn’t doing that these days? [Bloomberg]

Kobe Club Nadir of the Genre; Pera’s Kebabs as Good as Street Meat!

Bruni gives the Waverly Inn one star in a review that parodies a high-powered editor’s blathering about how cool the place is. But like most everyone else, he seemed to enjoy the food. [NYT] Meehan, meanwhile, finds a barbecue trailer parked in front of an auto body shop in the Bronx. This even beats his review of that taco stand in a garage. [NYT] Paul Adams likes the new Turkish restaurant Pera well enough, but in a Meehan-esque twist, suggests street kebabs are just as good. The place is big and elegant, but the Turkish specialties are largely “watered down for non-Turkish tastes.” [NYS]

Bruni Meets Neroni; Another Blah Review for Ramsay

Making sure to mention chef Jason Neroni's desperate call for Beard nominations — the one revealed on Grub Street — Bruni gives Porchetta a single star and calls Neroni “overly insistent.” [NYT] In all-tofu dessert spot Kyotofu, Meehan finds a pudding paradise. Though he issues some of the most enthusiastic praise we've heard from him lately, he also cautions that the savory dishes are just “perfunctory.” [NYT] Wobbly tables don't get in the way of Paul Adams’s appreciation of new Soho Moroccan joint Babouche. [NYS] Cuozzo loves Pera, makes it sound as if it's the first-ever high-end Turkish restaurant. Orhan Yegan of Divane and Beyoglu must have steam coming out of his ears. [NYP] Sietsema rarely meets a barbecue he doesn’t like, and Brooklyn's Smoke Joint proves no exception. The evil Cookshack smoker, condemned in our 2006 wish list, makes a cameo appearance. [VV] Randall Lane delivers yet another approving but ultimately unenthusiastic review of the “impeccable, if clinical” Gordon Ramsay. The Brit just can't win! [TONY] Related: Gordon Ramsay, Gay Icon

More Reasons for Ramsay to Worry; Could Use Some ‘Time Out’ Love

Frank Bruni wants to dislike Mai House but just can’t quite bring himself to do it. [NYT] Meehan has no reason to like Pardo’s … so he doesn’t. [NYT] Paul Adams tepid on Gordon Ramsay, citing his “great competence and little sparkle.” [NYS] Alan Richman awards Ramsay one big “ouch”; he’s reminded of “the French-international cuisine that British chefs turn out whenever they ply their trade aboard cruise ships.” [Bloomberg] Klee Brasserie apparently finds its way into Randall Lane’s heart, though thoughts like “it’s a bit of a mishmash, but a good mishmash” don’t fully convey the apparent chemistry they share. What with all the positive mini-reviews of Café Pierre, Guadalupe, and Benjamin Steak House, it’s a veritable lovefest over at Time Out. [TONY] Brooklyn spot NoNO Kitchen charms Andrea Thompson, who rather drily observes that it’s “quite good, if not exactly phenomenal.” [NYer]