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Sheep Station

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Nobody Truly Loves Varietal; Pera and Dennis Foy Only Marginally Appealing

Bruni one-stars two restaurants, damning both with the faintest of praise: “Pera is a restaurant good enough at what it does best to argue for at least a moment’s consideration,” he says, carefully calibrating the knocks everyone else has given the place. Dennis Foy is too,” he throws in. [NYT] Meehan is downright enthusiastic in his praise for East Village mini-chain Chickpea, which he considers the epitome of cheap eats, if not the final word in falafel and shawarma. [NYT] Alan Richman reviews a more or less random steakhouse, Harry’s in the financial district, and delivers the news that the sides are lame, the steaks are fair to good, and that the place isn't especially pretty or pleasant. Who'd have thought? [Bloomberg]

Love Gets No Love From Bruni; Strong Falls in Love With Self at Cafe Cluny

Bruni shares Platt's horror over Lonesome Dove's "hairy and scary" welcome mat and agrees the "mistakes don't end at the front door." For one, the quail quesadillas and rabbit empanadas taste like, well, chicken. Still, it's not all bluster: "Mr. Love seems dedicated to getting first-rate cuts of meat, and if the rub-happy kitchen goes overboard in seasoning them, especially with salt and pepper, it certainly knows how to cook many of them." [NYT] Forget the two-hour rule at Ramsay at the London: Paul Adams fumes over getting bum-rushed at Goblin Market: "When a place goes to such lengths to make it clear that they don't want customers, I for one am glad to oblige." [NYS] At David Burke's Hawaiian Tropic Zone, the dishes taste "like they came from a war zone, not a tropic zone." But then again "at a human zoo like this, the quality of the food just doesn't matter." [TONY]

The Australian Invasion

This week, Rob and Robin report on an unlikely but welcome addition to New York's restaurant scene, Australian pub Sheep Station, which is located in Brooklyn's version of the outback — between Gowanus and Park Slope. Perhaps our intrepid food editors are warming to Australia — they give Sheep Station a thumbs-up for its cool room and hearty dishes, and earlier this year, they penned "Australian for 'Food,'" a primer on the nation's cuisine. Also in Openings this week: East Village wine shop Tinto Fino, West Village bistro Cafe Cluny, and Soho brasserie Bar Martignetti. Openings: Sheep Station [NYM]