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Week in Reviews: Bruni Brutalizes Harry Cipriani

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1) On this day, the Bruni issues what is perhaps his most brutal takedown to date, a zero star (poor) execution of Harry Cipriani, the high society Italian cafeteria in the Sherry Netherland Hotel. Save for a bit of tourist business on the margin, the review won't do much to impact the restaurant's bottom line, but that is not to say there aren't serious fireworks with in.


It’s tempting to devote the rest of this review to a price list. Nothing else I can present is nearly as compelling.Besides, prices are the point of Harry Cipriani, which exists to affirm its patrons’ ability to throw away money. It’s the epitome of a restaurant whose steep tariffs justify themselves, subbing for membership dues and assuring that the spouse, in-law, client or canine psychic being treated to a $16.95 piece of chocolate cake will be impressed.
It’s a bizarre mix of indulgence and deprivation, the crisp white jackets on the servers communicating an ostentation that’s contradicted by plenty else, including the brusque manner in which those servers sometimes hustle diners through a meal. Even in an enclave this expensive, there are things seemingly done on the cheap. I can’t think of a credible motive other than cost saving for serving an appetizer of turkey tonnato in place of veal tonnato.
[T]he kitchen’s blunders outnumbered its successes, which were modest in any case. The wan tomatoes beside buffalo milk mozzarella didn’t have a drop of sweetness. Main courses of lamb and salmon were overcooked, as were the meats in several pasta sauces, including an oily veal ragù over green tagliardi. Pasta sauces by and large were washouts, seldom registering much presence or any nuance. An amatriciana had no zest, no zip, and the meat in it looked and tasted not like guanciale or pancetta but like ordinary cubed ham. The selection of wines by the glass — a small carafe, really — is pathetic...

2) Adam Platt is at Allen & Delancey and Kingswood (pictured above) this week. The first gets two stars and the latter one star. Turns out he likes both:

Like his former boss, Ferguson is a fussy classicist at heart, and he labors mightily to introduce a sense of posh, even delicate Britishness to his new hipster milieu. More often than not, he succeeds, especially when serving fancified versions of old English favorites, like deposits of beef-bone marrow larded with caviar and puréed shallots, and a delicious terrine made with layers of pressed ham knuckle, guinea hen, and foie gras. My little sweetbread “raviolo” was a welcome relief from the endless procession of meatball sliders you see in restaurants downtown, and the seared sea scallops (doused with “celery-root cream”) were the equal of the seared sea scallops served in some of the city’s more-established fine-dining Zip Codes.
And at Kingswood cut from a more traditional, casual downtown cloth: "After a Bronte burger, and a pint or two of ale with the clamorous Aussies at the next table, you won’t even be thinking about dessert." Note: he means that in a good way. [NYM]

3) Paul Adams for the Sun visit Tailor, where the tailoring is something of a thrill but the food doesn't do much to move the needle:

As the name indicates, Mr. Mason brings his pastry-chef exactitude to every aspect of the restaurant, from the employees' clothing to the calibration of a terrine's texture; but in his passionate attention to detail, the big picture can suffer. There are delights among the edibles, but with such a short and outlandish menu, the restaurant doesn't particularly lend itself to repeat visits. The real treasure at Tailor is the selection of cocktails that emanate from the downstairs bar.
Interesting to note while we're on the subject of Tailor, neither Bruni nor Platt have filed on the restaurant, despite the fact that both have been in several times. Pete Wells filed a Dining Brief on the restaurant for the Times. However, the focus was on the bar, which we take to mean that a full review is still coming. Still, as we wait, the restaurant's hope of raves from either critic is diminishing quickly. [NYS]

Elsewhere, Alan Richman is at Chinatown mainstay Fuleen, "probably the best late-night dining in New York;" Robert Sietsema is at Taco Santana in Sunset Park; The Restaurant Girl two-point-fives Stulman/Price/Campanaro West Villager Market Table; Ryan Sutton has the very good early word on both Bun and the new Momofuku Noodle Bar; Randall Lane four-of-sixes Grayz; and Tables for Two at Taim in the West Village.

On the blogs, Andrea Strong 'goods' Los Dados; Scoboco at brand new Attorney Street Ital Bacaro; The AG at the restaurant that Bruni built, Moim; and NY Journal at L'Impero.