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Week in Reviews: Quality Meats, Cafe d'Alsace, Sordidness

[Kalina, 4/18/06]

1) So, uh, Adam Platt has this friend. And this friend likes steak. But the friend's wife doesn't, so the friend can never go to places like Smith & Wollensky because his wife won't be happy and we all know what that means. So Platt took his friend to Quality Meats, where his wife was happier. The friend's, not Platt's. Platt (and the friend) think she was probably happier because of the "aggressively feminized dishes," like steak with blackberries, a "horrible" corn creme brulee, and "ladylike" tuna. They were sort of happy with their manly steak cuts, but they weren't as happy as when they had the apricot-covered suckling pig. Then Platt's friend (okay, this time Platt) got into a food coma and forgot what the dessert tasted like. In the end, even though his friend's wife was happy, it's still a steakhouse. And they still got down. One star. [New York]

2) For anyone who's been keeping up with Bruni's last week—from the Salsify mystery to the fast food furor—it should come as a smaller surprise than it did that this week's two-star Cafe d'Alsace review is just a touch (and we do hate to say this) phoned in. After the swerve and sass of last week, this take on the Upper East Side's new tarte flambee, baekoffe, and beer joint leaves something to be literarily desired. Helpful, yes—marrow bones, any sausage, all desserts were excellent; frogs' legs and choucroute garnie were good; veal breast and lamb shank were bad—but, this week, we're out of the Frankiepants thrall. [NYT]

After the jump, secret (and sleazy!) pizza, trouble at Ditch Plains, and the usual, elsewhere.

3) Tables for Two calls out the constant New York obsession with finding the latest pseudo-speakeasy and underground tequileria by finding the upstairs-and-down-the-hall Lazzara's Pizza Cafe, in the garment district, to be less than uniformly awesome. It's all a bit depressing, from the businesspeople "not as well dressed as one might expect" to the buffalo-style calamari with blue cheese. Apparently, P. Diddy, J. Lo and R. Simm (apologies) are regular customers. Which doesn't fix the rocks-like gnocchi, bad lighting, and "freezer-burned Sara Lee" desserts. Still, it's upstairs and hard to find. Ergo totally cool. [New Yorker]

4) Peter Meehan takes his self-defined city slicker self to Ditch Plains, finds almost everything from the can of whipped cream to the $3 American cheese slice to the forty-five minute wait disappointing. Saving graces are the scandalously side-sliced lobster roll and the burger. But at $23, the roll is just under the $25 and Under wire. [NYT]

Elsewhere, Bruni blogs Megu Midtown; the Village Voice heads to Queens' Mazorca for some Colombian snacks; NYCNosh checks out South Street Seaport's alliterative Salud; and Mona's Apple braves the Maritime Hotel, manages to have a good time at La Bottega.

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