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Week in Reviews: Dressler, Degustation, A Voce, Brooklyn

[Kalina, 4/17/06]

1) Bruni heads to Billyburg, awards two Balthazar-comparing (whoa) stars to Dressler. Frank's getting a bit of his swerve back since last week's marked downturn in the aftermath of the Salsify incident, but this review's pretty much all about the food. The meals. The eats. Highlights are, well, pretty much everything except the chopped salad, the pea soup, and the strozzapreti, Frank's negative criticism giving him the chance to flaunt his flair:

The leaden rolls deposited on my table another night could have functioned as doorstops, and the naming of the strawberry-rhubarb crisp had to be an attempt at irony, because its consumption would have been better aided by a straw than a spoon.
All forgiven by the decor, of course, by which our man was alternately "smitten" and "mesmerized." So much for a chill night in Brooklyn. [NYT]

The Robs, Raisfeld and Patronite, play "crazed billy goat" at Jack and Grace Lamb's finally-opened Degustation (formerly Sino-Room Jewel Bako Robata Grace's Kalbi Bar). They set it up:
Genovart’s menu makes use of such currently fashionable A.W. (After Wylie) cooking techniques and ingredients as sous vide and xanthan gum.
And knock it down:
But nothing tastes forced or contrived.
Shocking. But it's not a Lamb review without a description of the man himself. Make that girl.
Oddly enough, Jack Lamb, the suave, super-dapper, pocket-square-sporting, Hog-ridin’ gastropreneur—whose culinary fiefdom includes Jewel Bako, Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar, and Jewel Bako Makimono—has been known to behave somewhat like a fickle schoolgirl when it comes to opening and closing restaurants.
Ah, the power of the critic. [New York]

After the jump, the New Yorker discovers A Voce, $25 and Under ponders a graffiti-sprayed smoker, and the usual usual.

3) Tables for Two catches on to this whole A Voce thing, is most excited by the over-excited manager.

If modesty is Carmellini’s virtue, his staff has no problem talking up the place. Recently, the neatly turned out manager placed a roasted-beet salad in front of a diner and, almost to himself, softly exclaimed, “Beautiful! Beautiful!”
Utterly surprisingly, the duck meatballs are not uniformly loved. More than that, someone actively does not like them. Still, given the beet salad, the lamb tortellini, and the bolognese, the cult of Carmellini is kicking. [New Yorker]

4) It's a Brooklyn week over at the Dining section, with Peter Meehan also making the trip out to (South) Williamsburg for pulled pork and pie at Pies 'n' Thighs' yard of a dining room. The review makes you wonder about our man Meehan:

The restaurant, such as it is, occupies a tiny closet of a kitchen that for years sat unused — save to house beer — in back of the Rock Star Bar, a dive so cinematically seamy and purposefully out of the way that it spurred me to imagine all kinds of unlawful scenarios playing out between its walls.
Interesting.... [NYT]

Elsewhere, the Cuozz puts Chinatown Brasserie in a critical context; Bruni blogs his first impressions of Parea and Degustation; Restaurant Girl gets down with the obtusely-named Burgers & Cupcakes; and the Daily News looooves the East Village's Le Miu.