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Week in Reviews: Waverly Gets Its Star, New 'Cue at Mo Gridder's, Kobe Club Confirmed Pricey

1) At this time, folks, we'd like to call Mr. Frank Bruni to the dance floor. Frank's going to read from a letter he wrote Graydon Carter today. Frank, come on up here.

Dear Graydon...

No wonder so many want in so badly. If our house up in Rhinebeck had the coziness that Waverly does, I wouldn’t make Herbert go up there alone as often as I do. The quaintly uneven wood floors, the low ceilings, the four fireplaces, the red banquettes: Waverly is like a rumpled, wrinkled dowager who found some late-in-life glamour, who got a great tailor and the best laser peel money could buy...

I’ve dawdled in getting to the food, because I hate to complain. But does it have to be this good, Graydon? Isn’t that a strategic blunder?

When word gets out that your chef, John DeLucie, is doing some of the best tuna tartare in town (all that creamy avocado and zingy heat!), plus a hefty and juicy pork chop, a classically blissful Dover sole, an addictive clam chowder, a gorgeous fillet of wild salmon (with those adorable little beluga lentils) and such feloniously fatty short ribs, won’t there be even more lemmings tumbling down the steps from Bank Street and through the door?

Waverly Inn, by way of Frank Bruni's creative writing class: one star. [NYT]

2) 'Cue discovery alert: Peter Meehan for $25 and Under uncovers a place called Mo Gridder's Barbecue. It's a competition-grade barbecue rig parked in front of a car wash in the far reaches of the Bronx. Meehan doing a job and doing it right:

Though the big red machine outside has been smoking only since May, Mr. Donnelly said he has been “doing barbecue” since 1992. It was a good way “to show some customer appreciation” at this location and at his used car lot. He’s gotten serious over the years, becoming a certified barbecue judge, competing around the country and now staking a claim for real barbecue in the Bronx.

His menu is expansive, much like those at other New York barbecue spots. And much like the food at other New York barbecue spots, not everything is magic.

But the ribs: that’s where the getting gets good.

Those wishing to coordinate pilgrimages should sign up at [NYT]

3) Randall Lane for TONY is at Kobe Club, which turns out to be worth of three of his six stars.

I can’t think of a concept better suited to impress midtown bankers and hip-hop stars than a place called Kobe Club. The idea—let’s turn wagyu beef into the next Cristal or Grey Goose—is absurdly crass...and yet brilliant...

I expected New Yorkers to scoff at the lack of sophistication, but by 9:30pm the room was filling up, late-nighters were rocking in their seats to the music, and I saw Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony at one table. Chodorow may be on to something—but only as long as steak remains trendy.

Lane also notes, per past Eater warnings, "s near impossible to leave without dropping $300 per couple; $400 is more likely." [TONY]

Elsewhere, Bob Lape one-stars Russian Tea Room, Tables at Bar Martignetti, Strongbuzz goods Murray Hills , Sietsema keen on LES' Cronkite, Paul Adams at could get used to Midtown's Pera, Big Apple Dining Guide at the 'worth seeking out' Urena, and the RG at the restaurant formerly known as Onera, Kefi.

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