Franktastic is taking the week off to devote two full pages and over 3,300 words to the closing of MePa institution Florent (more on this later). Let's turn our attention then to what the other critics are reviewing, starting off with Bar Q. Anita Lo's Asian BBQ joint earns some ink from both The Cuozz and Sietsema today. The former loves the place every time he visits except one, the time Lo is out of the kitchen:
"When the kitchen's clicking, Bar Q's mildly exotic, midpriced menu delights...I'll never understand why chefs launching ambitious restaurants think they can afford not to be there every day when a place is brand-new...On Lo's off night, seafood stew with kimchee lost the punch it had on other visits...Other choices were similarly anemic..."And what say the Sietsema? He loves some things (the spareribs), is disappointed by others (the shortribs) and sums it up thusly:
"The popularity of American-style barbecue spots seems to be spawning all sorts Franken-cues. If Bar Q is the last big-ticket 'Asian barbecue' we'll be seeing this season, I'll be surprised. Certainly, it won't be the worst."Not being the worst probably wasn't the rave Lo was hoping for. [NYP; Village Voice]
Peter Meehan heads to the Brooklyn Flea for the Red Hook vendors, but he only finds sandwiches, elotes, and tables of sweets: "...the Vaquero family were the only Red Hook vendors on hand, serving up elotes...Their presence and the utter scarfability of their elotes give me faith in Mr. Demby’s assurances that that both pupusas and huaraches will be present and accounted for starting Sunday." [NYT]
Randall Lane weighs in on the Ko and gives it five out of six stars: "Ko deals with these whacked-out supply-and-demand curves democratically, compared with, say, Rao’s, where getting in is 100 percent whom you know. At Ko, there are no beautiful people, just lucky ones. What’s even more evolutionary about Ko is how harmonious Chang’s concoctions have become. It’s like watching Andy Warhol turn into Rembrandt." [TONY]
Ryan Sutton hits up the Denton brothers' Murray Hill Italian, Bar Milano. He can't even hear himself think, but the food earns two stars: "It's so loud you have to shout. Drinkers slur their speech. A hammered patron asks if I like to party...Inconveniences aside, Milano's food can be astonishingly good." [Bloomberg]
Alan Richman gets nostalgic and dines at the soon-to-close (and hopefully re-open) San Domenico: "The chef is Odette Fada, whose food I adore...Her agnolotti are the best meat-filled pasta in America. Her red-wine and red-beet risotto is sublime." [GQ]
THE ELSEWHERE: The Plattster gives Kerry Heffernan's fancy food palace South Gate one star, The RG awards two stars to Olana, Julia Moskin and Pete Wells File Dining Briefs at Cabrito and The Redhead, Paul Adams is at the "virtuous" Broadway East, Tables for Two loves Elettaria, Sarah DiGregorio is at the New French on West Houston, and Crain's checks out Thunder Jackson's and the Rusty Knot.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives Salumeria Biellese an A+, Cleaned My Plate also gives a mixed bag to Bar Q, NYC Foodie takes a rare trip into Brooklyn to try out Dressler, Project Me goes to the "grown up" Grayz, and The Wandering Eater lunches at Nougatine.