The Bruni sets his sights on AvroKO's newest, Double Crown, and is impressed by the decor, the novel theme, the colonial snacks. There are some definite weak spots, but as a whole, the restaurant earns two stars:
"...while the menu indeed combines British and Asian traditions, it doesn’t always insist on doing so in a single dish. Double Crown lets bangers and mash (sausage with potatoes) be bangers and mash, not dousing it in coconut milk or subjecting it to some other tropical makeover. It lets a curry laksa (noodle soup) be a curry laksa...
The cooks don’t ace everything...But on balance this is a kitchen cleverer and more deft than it probably needs to be, given the way the restaurant’s trendy (it’s true) Bowery location and the AvroKO imprimatur beckon the pretty types."And of course, he devotes about a third of the space to the design: "Double Crown could be the industrial-loft apartment of a couple of discerning globe-trotters who made out really well at a flea market in the Far East. It’s an intensely pleasant place to hang out..." [NYT]
Ryan Sutton files on two newcomers, Chodorow's Center Cut and Valenti's West Branch: Center Cut is a flop: "Chodorow, despite his ownership of numerous restaurants across the globe, still makes entry-level mistakes: The lounge area was frigid, bartenders couldn’t transfer checks to a table, servers disappeared when a bill was needed." And West Branch: "His meat-heavy flavor combinations are simple and powerful -- just like at his other venue, Ouest..." [Bloomberg]
Sietsema is one of the first critics to weigh in on Brian Bistrong's farmstead themed and "locavore" Braeburn: "...you'd expect big, aggressive plates of plainish food from farmers'-market sources. But that's often not the case at Braeburn. The lessons of cooking school have been vigorously applied, complete with delicate servings, fussy platings, and incongruous ingredients that seem to fly out of nowhere." [VV]
For the first time ever according to the mag, TONY is awarding a restaurant six out of six stars. Jay Cheshes is a bit taken with Nieporent's Corton: "All in all, dinner at Corton is an extraordinary experience. Liebrandt, whose outsize ego has been a liability over the years, has so far been keeping it in check. It would be a shame if recession timing dooms him instead." [TONY]
The RG visits new yakitori spot Mr. Jones and is too distracted by the setting to focus on the food. It earns two stars: "Mr. Jones could be a furniture store specializing in Danish Modern. It could be George Jetson’s bachelor pad, fireplace and all. It could be the first-class lounge at Dubai International...Mr. Jones is more club than restaurant, more sex than food." [NYDN]
THE ELSEWHERE: Like Ryan Sutton, Alan Richman is also disappointed in Center Cut, Pete Wells files an Under on Williamsburg's excellent taco joint La Superior, Gael Greene thinks that Almond may not be cursed after all, Sarah DiGregorio checks out Park slope gem Bussaco, Tables for Two finds some comfort in The Libertine, and Gourmet loves the bourbon/food pairings at Char No. 4.
THE BLOGS: NYC Foodie finds the two day old Macao Trading Co. unique and "tasty", Hungry Girl attends friends and family at The John Dory, Ed Levine gives an A to the Chinese barbecue at Roasted Delights, Writing With My Mouth Full is Reminded that Peter Luger is great for porterhouse, not for service, Gotham Gal is slightly disappointed with Centro Vinoteca, while Cleaned my Plate is slightly impressed by 10 Downing, and Life with Food and Drink checks in on Apiary.