The Bruni deems Wylie Dufresne's molecular gastronomy standby, wd~50, worthy of a three spot this week. Though the flavor pairings have frightened the Frank in the past, seems like Dufresne has tamed his mad scientist side and hit a chord this time around. Frankerrific especially likes the eggs Benedict:
"At once concise and comprehensive, it’s perhaps the tidiest Benedict the egg-loving world has ever known. It’s quite possibly the best, yielding more yolk, more hollandaise and a more pronounced juxtaposition of textures in each bite....
And it’s a window into what makes WD-50 and Mr. Dufresne, its chef, so amusing, important and rewarding. He pushes hard against the envelope of possibility and the bounds of conformity to produce food that’s not only playful but also joyful and even exhilarating, at least when the mad science pays off."
And another thing—the man is always in the kitchen: "Mr. Dufresne, one of the restaurant’s principal owners, seems always to be there. By all accounts he has a fierce work ethic...His commitment is praiseworthy, and so are the dividends." [NYT]
Ryan Sutton has the early word on the just opened Eighty One—it's fancy, a tad overpriced, and overall pretty delicious: "Chef Ed Brown doesn't so much invent as he does reinvent and indulge -- not a bad thing. Calamari cooked a la plancha is becoming a de rigueur preparation around town. Brown uses free- form streaks of paprika and potato sauce to add relevance...It intrigues. It lingers. Risotto gets a nutty jolt from pumpkin-seed oil, a fatty shock from braised chicken wings -- delicious." [Bloomberg]
Randall Lane gives three of six to Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill this week, and he thinks this is the Bromberg bros' most erratic operation to date, which isn't saying it's not tasty: "Ueki winningly takes the most heralded feature of the original Blue Ribbon brasserie—the raw bar—and adapts it with a half-dozen seafood sunomono, basically a Japanese ceviche using vinegar as the marinade for such delicacies as blue crab, jellyfish and octopus...But the rest of the dizzying menu—two dozen appetizers, not including 8 soups and 11 types of salad, plus steaks, poultry and tempura—proves disparately hit-or-miss." [TONY]
Peter Meehan heads to Williamsburg this week to check out the dinner options at impossibly popular brunch spot Egg. Turns out Pies 'n' Thighs alum Stephen Tanner is turning out some tasty chicken: "A good fried chicken is hard to find. Especially in New York City. But the fried chicken at Egg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: it’s good. So good I watched a Southern-born friend devour nearly two whole portions in one sitting. So good he returned the next night with other ex-pats from Dixie for more." [NYT]
The RG hits up Adour this week and graces it with two and a half stars. The design is outstanding, the service, impeccable, but the food doesn't wow Freeman the way it should: "...no dish surpassed a breathtaking entree of creamy diver scallops embellished with tender slivers of black truffles...It was an exemplary composition that achieved more succulent depth than a relentlessly tough pork tenderloin...which tasted like a holiday ham gone terribly awry. For every dish that dazzled, there was another that utterly disappointed." [NYDN]
THE ELSEWHERE: Alan Richman finally gives word on Bar Boulud, The Cuozz visits Central Park's newest arrival South Gate, Paul Adams goes to East Village newcomer Seymour Burton, Sietsema treks out to Sunset Park for Restaurante Taqueria Guerrero, and Tables for Two files just in time on Park Avenue Winter
THE BLOGS: Meehan finds some decent pizza in the Bronx at Trattoria Zero Otto Nove, Strongbuzz checks in on Merkato 55, NY Journal gets the early word on Olana, Project me hits up standby Gramercy Tavern, Wandering Eater's at Midtown's Mia Dona, Gasto Chic heads to West Village spot Bobo, Off the Broiler tries A Taste of Greece in NJ, and Gotham Gal is at oldie-but-goodie Salt.