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Week in Reviews: Two Take-Downs, Two Stars for Resto

Resto, by the Kalina

1) First up, Adam Platt drops the hammer on Jeffrey Chodorow's Wild Salmon, one-of-five-staring it, while having a fairly hard time saying anything nice about it at all. The about as good as it gets quotage:

The main courses are less successful, but if you forsake the more overworked preparations for simplicity, you should survive. The baroque dishes include Washugyu short ribs braised to a dank, brown nothingness; spidery, fishy tasting King-crab legs doused with Meyer-lemon butter sauce; and haunches of over-sweet pork osso buco set upright on the plate, like dinosaur bones.
And if that doesn't give you an understanding of how much Platt didn't like Wild Salmon, know this: it almost seems as if he liked Kobe Club more. BONUS CHODOBLOG CHECK-IN: 12 weeks dry and counting. [NYT]

2) The Bruni X factor, which had for some time been dormant, is back for this week's review, of Belgium resto Resto. The verdict: a whopping two stars. Restaurateurs take note, if you're going to make people wait, adjust the prices accordingly.

Resto — the name is slang for restaurant — doesn’t take reservations for groups smaller than six, and on some nights there’s a 45-minute wait by 7:30. It can be difficult to reach the bar through the crowd around it and even tougher to hear servers through the din...But the issue at restaurants like this isn’t whether such conditions are ideal; it’s whether they’re reflected in the prices. At Resto they largely are. You’ll pay $18 for a sizable heap of mussels with fries, $19 for the beef cheek carbonade, $6 for a serving of sausage. While the poularde, for two, costs $55, it could feed almost three people, and the regal bird, impeccably roasted, is from a Pennsylvania farm.
One liner take-away, to boot: "Resto’s version of Belgium is neither clichéd nor isolationist. [NYT]

3 Back in the category of take-downs, Alan Richman is at Landmarc this week and is not quite sure what all the fuss is about.

Think too much and you'll find the place hard to like. The food is OK. The hostesses dress down, sometimes in jeans. The servers are in T-shirts. It's beyond minimalist; it's closing in on grim. The long, curving bar looks as though it belongs in an Edward Hopper canvas, had the artist painted in black and white.

You'll pour your own water (usually too warm) from a carafe. You can share appetizers, but no extra plates arrive.

But in the end, perhaps for the "fatty, juicy and bloody" steaks, will he be back? "I hate to admit it. I will." [Bloomberg]

Elsewhere, Mr. Bruni via the dining briefs, is at Perilla, Paul Adams not fully sold on the new Provence, Randal Lane three-of-sixes Provence, Tables at Midtown West Greek Anthos, Ryan Sutton on Soto, NY Press at Markt, Sietsema at Juliette, and Andrea Strong all 'good' at Mercat.

On the blogs, Marc Shepherd at, the Fiesty Foodie at Zucchero e Pomodori, Nosh at Grom, Project me files early at Carniceria, Applesauce on the 'suckage' of Sant Ambroeus, and Gastro Chic explains, via Venn diagram, the appeal of Mercat.