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Week in Reviews: Landmarc TWC Gets a Star, Perilla Looking Good

Kalina, 4/21/07

1) Frank Bruni goes shopping at the Time Warner Center Mall today, and stops in at Landmarc for one star on his way out. Before Landmarc there was something about the mall that really bothered Frank, see: "there wasn’t anywhere for someone ambling out of Sephora with an exciting new exfoliant to grab an unplanned hamburger, pick at an unlabored salad." Problem solved:

That’s just what Mr. Murphy has provided: a no-nonsense, low-impact restaurant so purged of airs it seems at times to be a repudiation of much of what preceded and surrounds it. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. It doesn’t take reservations for groups smaller than six.

It serves food that’s seldom much flashier than the fare at a Midwestern Marriott. And that, in fact, is its strength and appeal.

Taking full advantage of the tacit understanding that he and Amanda Hesser grade on wildly different curves, the differences between this and the downtown location -- "The new branch is less attractive than its downtown sibling, because the restaurants’ stripped-down industrial décor has a drearier payoff in a larger setting....The food in the new branch, too, struck me as inferior, probably also a result of the restaurant’s scale..." -- don't seem odd to Mr. Bruni, who's just happy he can get a decent roast chicken after cruising through the Bose showroom. [NYT]

2) Alan Richman files the first big time review on Harold Dieterle's Perilla today, and it is quite mixed. The good news: "Certainly, fabulous is going too far, but there is little not to like about this pleasant, understated restaurant...Dieterle can cook." The bad news is that Dieterle's take on seasonality needs some work: "I got the impression he was preparing dishes that he was confident he could do well, not dishes his customers might appreciate right now. He's a young chef, and it's likely his repertoire isn't wide-ranging." Will Mr. Richaman return? "Not right now, but certainly when Dieterle is fully formed." [Bloomberg]

Bonus: Andrea Strong is also at Perilla this week. Here take: "With Perilla, Harold has created a place that you will return to again and again. You might stop in at the long walnut bar for a light bite and a cocktail—the Perilla 75 ($10) is a fresh summer sparkler made from Plymouth Gin, Grapefruit Juice, Prosecco and muddled Perilla leaf, or sit down with friends for a casual dinner at one of the twenty zebrawood tables in the honey-lit dining room, or bring your family for a festive celebration in one of the plush and cozy oversized booths. Perilla can do it all." Except for the desserts, she notes, which are a shitshow. [Strong Buzz]

Elsewhere, Peter Meehan at Queens the German beer hall Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, Paul Adams at 'packed' tapas restaurant Suba, Randall Lane has three and two stars for Landmarc and FR.OG, Tables for Two at Provence, Ryan Sutton at Borough Food & Drink and Suba, and Robert Sietsema at Astoria Brazilian Favela.

On the blogs, Gotham Gal at Patricia Yeo's Sapa, Scoboco at Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop, Nosh treks to Brooklyn for Dressler, and Big Apple Dining Guide rolls with his expense account to Robuchon.

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