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Week in Reviews: Boqueria, STK, Lonesome Dove

[Kalina, 8/06]

1) The Matador digs in at Boqueria and presents it with two stars. In doing so, Bruni is happy to stir a little controversy, too:

Although an early visit left me with doubts, this restaurant has improved steadily and markedly since it opened in mid-August. And although its menu still harbors a few disappointments, they’re eclipsed by plenty of standouts and by a charismatically bustling, remarkably warm scene. Glossier than Tía Pol, cozier than Barça 18, Boqueria manages to have the virtues of stylishness without the vanity, luring relatively young, good-looking diners who turn out for the eating more than the posing.
That sound you just heard was thousands of Tia Pol loyalists popping blood vessels. [Boqueria]

2) Adam Platt delivers a doozy this week, one- and zero- starring STK and Lonesome Dove respectively. (You wouldn't know this if you read strictly on-line, where at post time they've got the venues listed at one and two stars.) The STK portion of the review is in keeping with the consensus that it's a bit delicate by most steakhouse standards. At Lonesome Dove, however, Platt takes out the hammer:

Let’s begin with the cheerless, threadbare room, which is long and windowless and painted brown, like a basement bar in some two-bit college town. A pair of skinny, scraggly cacti frame the doorway, and a tattered-looking steer skin has been spread, perversely, on the sidewalk, to usher people in off the street. The only noticeable decorations inside are antic paintings of monster-size hats and cowboy boots, and the lighting is so dim my little party of diners and I had to hold up candles to see our food, like miners in a cave.
He doesn't so much like the 'bedraggled' food either, save for an 'expertly chosen and well aged' Tomahawk Chop. Memo to Gerstein: We may have a problem.

Ahead, an alternate take on Lonesome Dove and the sweet, sweet elsewhere.

3) On the other hand, Randall Lane at Time Out didn't so much mind Lonesome Dove, as he awarded it four-out-of-six stars:

Love’s passion is beef. He offers tenderloin, rib-eye and strip cuts by the ounce (you specify the weight you want), and stuffs a tenderloin with garlic before roasting it, letting the stinking rose infuse the flesh.

Even Love’s surf and turf is different: His “tomahawk chop,” a giant bone-in rib eye for two, comes with a side of Australian lobster tails and seared giant scallops—caught fresh off the Jersey coast and dusted with spicy pepper. The dish is visually stunning (the bone must be at least 18 inches long), and Love himself carves it table-side. The meat has a wonderfully rich, gamey flavor and leaves a creamy aftertaste; a pepper rub provides a subtle kick. It’s big, it’s meaty, it’s almost ridiculous—just like Texas.

It's also $125, Lane notes, which is a bit pricey--especially if it's on the menu as 'market price.' [TONY]

Elsewhere, The Cuozz massages Porter House, Paul Adams at Papatzul, Tables for Two at Robu, Meehan at Meskal, Ryan Sutton at BLT Burger and Urban Lobster, Sietsema in Elmhurst at Choice Thai, Blackbook at Bondi Road, Augieland at BLT Burger, Chowmaster at Nobu 57, Clinton Hill Blog at The Smoke Joint, and Shepherd at Lonesome Dove.

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