Today Frankie Boom Boom finally gets his chance to review the perplexing, the overwrought, the neon, Kurve. The entire experience—from the design to the music to the food to the service—offends the Brunz and he awards it a stinging goose egg. But why review a place so obviously egregious and underpopulated? Bruni explains:
"It could be argued that reviewing a restaurant this assertively kooky is shooting gills, fins and shells in a barrel, but Kurve is a riddle and lesson too ripe to ignore. How do restaurateurs pour this much money and this much vanity into a project and bungle it to the extent that the Kurve brigade does?
...Much of the dim sum is terrific...And the curry pastes — rich with coconut milk, lively with kaffir lime and lemon grass — are sometimes excellent...But there are nearly as many causes for head-scratching.."As usual one of the highlights of the review comes from the audio slideshow: "I realized what it reminded me was something in my imagination which would be a nail salon on the planet Venus. [NYT]
Three critics weigh in on David Bouley's Secession this week. We'll start with a fan, The Cuozz: "This Bouley Lite cuisine turns out to be as compelling as most of it is simple. What holds so many far-flung crowd-pleasers together is strong execution. A French-born pal gasped, 'I'm in France,' over walnut-rich pate de campagne." [NYP]
Next up, the naysayer, Ryan Sutton: "...those discounts are relative. The terrines were cold as ice, as if they'd just been thawed. Sweetbread and liver versions were coarse as sand. Lobster risotto was mushy as rice pudding. Mediocre food, regardless of the price, can feel like a rip- off." [Bloomberg]
And finally, Jay Cheshes chooses the middle of the road, giving Secession three out of six stars: "Navigating the manic, poster-size menu—featuring in excess of 50 dishes—is more dizzying than a spin on the Cyclone. It’s the food Bouley presumably craves—a high-low fridge raid of Italian, French, Japanese, American, Thai and Austrian fare. If you surrender to the chaos, dinner here can be a lot of fun...Despite a glut of waiters buzzing around, the service is as out of control as the menu." [TONY]
Adam Platt is at first worried about Corton's "tempestuous diva" of a chef, Paul Liebrandt, but decides he has finally found his footing, earning four stars: "The recipes are, as it turns out, heavily informed by the Greenmarket aesthetic, and that’s for the best. The avalanche of seasonal ingredients...appears to have tempered Liebrandt’s flamboyance and focused his creativity. The showy pyrotechnics have disappeared, replaced by food that’s technically complex without being exhibitionist, highly refined without being effete." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Alan Richman finds the food uneven but loves the glamor of Charles, The Brunz files a brief on Cornelia Street's Home, while Oliver Schwaner-Albright tries BCD Tofu, Gael Greene has a rave for 10 Downing, Ruth Reichl is impressed with the decor but not exactly the food at Bouley, Sarah DiGregorio enjoys the bacon at Brooklyn's Char No. 4, The RG is at Upper East Sider Cipolla Rossa, Sietsema goes to Western Queens for Philippu Lounge y Restaurante, and Tables for Two, like everyone else, is a fan of Convivio.
THE BLOGS: Easy Ed gives his usual A- to Alex Raij's new tapas joint Txkito, Writing with my Mouth Full tries Serge Becker's Cafe Select, NYC Food Guy is disappointed by Cookout Grill, Goodies First treks out to Staten Island to check out Killmeyers, The Ubereater enjoys brunch at LES spot Brown, Saving and Savoring has a photo tour of dinner at Naya, The Pink Pig has an early review of Dirt Candy, while Pig Trip compares the BBQ at the new Hog Pot to that at Hill Country.