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Bruni Maintains Luger's Middling Reputation; Bar Fry's Tempura More Varied Than You'd Think

Frank Bruni complains about the steak, the service, the sides, and the salad at Peter Luger but caves and hands it two stars. [NYT] Restaurant Girl gives Elio’s two and a half stars, citing its “charming lure of old-world” Italian, code for a menu that has barely changed in 26 years. [NYDN] Alan Richman visits Il Mulino and in crushing it strikes a blow against “this style of oversized, oversauced, overcooked cuisine” with all the force he can muster. [Bloomberg]

Saju Just Sneaked Into Midtown

While no one was looking, New York just got another high-end Vietnamese restaurant in Saju, at the Hotel Mela. The place is in what could loosely be called soft-opening mode, largely because they are still ten days away from a liquor license and are still BYOB. But the food, mostly classical versions of Vietnamese dishes, shows the kind of French influence that comes from colonial occupation, rather than “fusion cooking” per se. (The fact that a Frenchman, Osteria al Doge's Phillipe Bernard, is a co-owner underscores its Gallic pedigree.)