Brunster gets on the horn this morning to discuss the barely two month-old Village spot from Brian Bistrong, Braeburn. Like the critics before him, the Bruni doesn't hate it, but he isn't exactly wowed, giving it a solid one star:
"While some dishes on his short menu were the products of clear ambition...others came across as underachievers in conception as well as execution...[NYT]
While some dishes communicated blunt down-home goodness, others were assembled or presented in intricate, precise fashions that sent a much more nuanced message and asked you to summon a much less freewheeling mood...the overall feel of the place is neither that of an easygoing neighborhood haunt nor that of a destination restaurant."
Frankie Boom Boom uses a "chef's table" theme to get a chance to review Tom: Tuesday Dinner: "The service is coddling, the pacing smooth, the wine pairings spot-on, the delicacies abundant and the pleasures intense...But the overall arc of the meal — the rhythm of it — wasn’t exactly right...Riveted at one point by his BlackBerry — Padma calling? — he fiddled with the keys for a good 30 seconds and then, to fiddle some more, crouched down below counter level." [NYT]
Ryan Sutton files on new Oak Room, and he's neither impressed by the prices nor the food at the revamped space: "Appetizers are priced like entrees ($18-$58). Burgers are priced like steaks ($28). Steaks are priced like 3-course meals ($55-$59). All this for sleepy, continental-style hotel fare. Gilded Age markups don’t fly in the recessionary era of Momofuku and Corton, where gourmet dishes sell at discount prices." [Bloomberg]
The RG files on 10 Downing, giving the restaurant and its chef Jason Neroni three stars in spite of a number of shortcomings: "His approach is to simplify a classic, take it apart, isolate it. By doing so, he gives it a new clarity...But there's an over-and-under problem at 10 Downing....The char was killed before it came to market, so why poach it to a second death?" [NYDN]
THE BLOGS: Noted Jim Lahey devotee Ed Levine gives Sullivan Street Bakery an A, Eating in Translation tries Lexington Avenue's exotic Kalustyan's and the new Baoguette, Robyn Lee has some tiny Asian burgers at Snacky, Salli Vates gets a chance at the heralded Nieporent newbie Corton, the Wandering Eater takes in a brief dinner at Picholine, Goodies First is one of the first to file on Williamsburg's Almacen, while Feisty Food revisits La Nacional.