Photo courtesy of Oceana
The Brunz hits up the well established, though for the most part forgotten, Oceana for a re-review and lets it keeps its three stars. He notes that while the restaurant may in fact be a "ship adrift in a sea where trendy frequently crowds out classic," we best not forget it's there. It also gives him a chance to make a lot of nautical references:
"...more than a decade and a half since it opened, Oceana presses on, still proud, still vital, still very much worth boarding.But Frank, what about that recent announcement that the restaurant will be moving next year? Isn't that troublesome?: "That move was announced toward the end of my visits, and I find it cause for excitement more than worry. The inside of the town house Oceana occupies feels dated." [NYT]
The fish was excellent, and superbly cooked. More than that, it was a vessel for an exhilarating voyage around the world, through culinary traditions as disparate as Italian and Indian...
...the restaurant recalls Le Bernardin, and could be characterized as Le Bernardin Lite (or maybe Le Bernardin Heavy), dedicated to showcasing the sea’s bounty...Oceana definitely wants your attention, and usually earns it."
Ruth Reichl gets a sneak peek at Convivio, the name of the newly made-over L'Impero, and she is an early fan: "...last night at the new Convivio—that would be the slightly redesigned L’Impero with a completely reconceived menu—I fell head over heels for his food. Nobody else in New York is cooking these authentic Southern Italian dishes." [Gourmet]
Goat connoisseur Robert Sietsema tries out Cabrito and is in love with everything, everything except its signature dish: "Rather than being charcoal-grilled, it's rubbed with sour orange and roasted in a banana leaf, replacing pork in Yucatán's famed cochinita pibil. Unfortunately, the kid doesn't take well to the recipe, leaving it sour, stringy, and somewhat skanky. Yes, Cabrito's signature dish flopped." [VV]
The RG tries out Williamsburg's little known Mex-Italian spot Miranda and deems the quirky fusion two star worthy: "It's interesting to see how naturally the ingredients of those two cuisines can be wedded...These combinations completely transform familiar dishes. You order the garganelli, and out comes a dish that looks like baked ziti. It's every bit as fulfilling but a hundred times better." [NYDN]
Platt visits Scott Conant's Scarpetta this week, equates the man to a prophet, and gives the Mepa restaurant three stars: "His high-minded, almost priestly brand of Italian cooking hasn’t changed very much, but in this more casual downtown setting, the food seems more enjoyable and less precious...During his uptown period, Conant kept trying, in an increasingly obsessive way, to shoehorn his talents into a certain prim, Michelin-approved sensibility. At Scarpetta, the opposite is true." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ryan Sutton has a slam for Montauk's Surf Lodge, Frank Bruni and Betsy Andrews file briefs on Wildwood and Kafana, Gael Greene likes a lot, hates a little at Matsugen, Paul Adams doesn't love Scarpetta as much as some other critics, Randall Lane awards Wildwood two out of six stars, and Tables for Two has a rave for Blue Ribbon Downing Street.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives the quirky Spanish restaurant La National an A-, Gastro Chic has an early review on the new Macondo, Sign of the Pink Pig samples Gregory Pugin's menu at Veritas, Cleaned My Plate is at Mas, Alidoro cures the Ubereater of his pent up frustrations, Mona's Apple tries brunch at Bubby's, The Girl Who Ate Everything eats a lot of pasta at Williamsburg's Fiore, and Goodie's First checks in to see how Resto is doing without Ryan Skeen.