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Week in Reviews: Yasuda & Forge Get Briefed, Convivio, Macondo, and More

Krieger, 6/17/08

This week Bruni takes a break from his usual review and the Times runs Julia Moskin's round-up of food served at New York's cocktail lounges and bars. However, Frankie Two Stars wouldn't leave us empty handed. He files two dining briefs, one a return to Sushi Yasuda, the other a first time review for Marc Forgione's Forge. First to Yasuda:

"...the half-dozen chefs...symbolize the militaristic precision and quasi-religious ardor with which this restaurant approaches its mission.

That mission is sushi, and there is no shortage of Manhattan restaurants that specialize in it. But from the time Naomichi Yasuda opened Sushi Yasuda more than eight years ago, when William Grimes awarded it three stars in The New York Times, it has been among the best. And a recent visit suggested that there’s been no slippage, no drift."

Relief. Unfortunately newcomer Forge doesn't fare so well:
"Despite the agrarian vibe, dishes on the succinct menu are intricately constructed and boldly embellished, sometimes too much so, the case with a prime hanger steak ($29) blasted with a syrupy pepper sauce. A better bet is basil-crusted halibut ($28)...I found the kitchen’s performance inconsistent, and on one visit the wait for food was ridiculously long, especially since the restaurant wasn’t crowded."
Forge just lost its chances of getting any Times stars, but by the looks of the review, it might not have shone too well in a full critique anyway. [NYT]

Ryan Sutton is blown away by Convivio: "Michael White is the demon chef of Tudor City. Convivio is his den of butchery, his restaurant inside a Gothic tower. You think you'll be ordering classic macaroni. Then you see a menu filled with pig's face and feet, cow's stomach, sea urchin gonads and bloody pigeon...Welcome to Manhattan's most exciting southern Italian joint." [Bloomberg]

Sarah DiGregorio files on Rayuela's sister restaurant, Macondo, and likes it in spite of itself: "It may sound unlikely, but the best mofongo I ever had was at a place where the server's opening spiel lasted at least five minutes and included the phrase: 'Our cocktails are tapas-style.' Thankfully, the mofongo was so good that it made up for the small annoyances of a night at Macondo." [VV]

The RG heads uptown to try the new Parlor Steakhouse, giving it two stars. She swoons over the desserts, but what of the meat?: "Billheimer knows how to give the porterhouse a volcanic char, with just the right ratio of crust to fat to bone...As you wander through this menu, try to stay on the dry side. Almost anything with a sauce is way too damp." [NYDN]

THE ELSEWHERE: As mentioned, Moskin discovers there's good food to be had at bars, Paul Adams enjoys the simple flavors at paella palace Socarrat, Sietsema is at Sheepshead Bay's Yiasou, Alan Richman thinks Veritas has finally found a worthy replacement for Scott Bryan, Randall Lane gives three out of six stars to Forge, and Tables for Two checks in on Shalizar and Ravagh.

THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives a B to Sushi Abazu, eateryROW tries out the cocktails and paninis at Vero, NYC Foodie is at the LES's Satsko, Goodies First enjoys banh mis at Ba Xuyen, and Clinton Hill blog takes an early look at Il Porto

Sushi Yasuda

204 East 43rd Street, Manhattan, NY 10017 (212) 972-1001 Visit Website

Convivio

45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017 Visit Website

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