Frankie Two Stars indulges at Alain Allegretti's French newcomer Allegretti and awards it a solid deuce. Yes it's expensive, and yes some of the dishes are overwrought. But ultimately the Brunz, along with his rapturous dining companions, is won over by Chef Allegretti's skill and his restaurant's M.O—similar to that of an uptown fine dining restaurant in the 1970's:
"Will this fly on an unromantic street with, at one end, an Olive Garden, which may well be better suited to a sub-10,000 Dow? I wonder.[NYT]
...But on its own terms, Allegretti distinguishes itself admirably. Although some dishes are overwrought, with an ingredient or two too many, and a few utterly miss their mark, more are executed with finesse and with a wicked sense of indulgence."
Tom: Tuesday Dinner has only served one meal, yet Ryan Sutton has a review for it. He's a fan: "Can the man still cook? The grub is pretty darn good. A stew of duck hearts (funky), cooked with bacon and paired with a bone marrow panini (oozy) spiked with aromatic white truffles could be the best-ever reinvention of the soup-and-sandwich." [Bloomberg]
Alan Richman is one of the first heavy hitters to file of Paul Liebrandt's cooking at Corton He's practically swooning: "If the thought of dining on Paul Liebrandt’s cooking scares you...I suggest you order his chicken for two...I thought it was the best dish on a menu that has nothing I didn’t enjoy....Liebrandt has taken a style of cooking that that has never found favor in New York—call it molecular gastronomy, call it deconstructionist, call it ironic—and transformed it into comfort food." [GQ]
The Cuozz, meanwhile, is begrudgingly won over by Double Crown: "The shtick is so annoying that part of you would love to see Double Crown fall on its precious face at the corner of Bleecker Street and the Bowery. But - drat! - the place is a delight in spite of itself. It's not only beautiful, but warm and winning as you'd never guess from its promotional mythology." [NYP]
This week Platt files a twofer on the "twee" Apiary (one star) and the "grim" Delicatessen (zero). He likes Apiary alright—suggesting ladies will probably love it—but seems to have the most fun going at Delicatessen: "Famished-looking models lounge around white Formica tabletops, nibbling hesitantly on bits of vulcanized pastrami and noxious helpings of bland chopped liver. There are blintzes filled with saccharine deposits of cherry verbena...and a Reuben sandwich that looks like it’s been issued directly from the kitchens of Continental Airlines." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Nick Fox files a Dining Brief on La Vineria, Bruni and Jay Cheshes try the bizarre offerings at Bloomingdale Road, the RG gives The Libertine one star, Sietsema likes Bar Milano, and Tables for Two is at Apiary.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives one of his lowest grades ever, awarding AQ Kafe a C, Serious Eats tries the dim sum at 88 Palace, Cleaned My Plate prefers Park Avenue Autumn to Summer, Writing with my Mouth Full dines at and assiduously photographs Per Se, the Amateur Gourmet reports that greatness survives at the new 2nd Ave Deli, Gotham Gal is at Little Giant, and Salli Vates is a fan of Olana's prix fixe.