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Week in Reviews: Persimmon Gets One Star

The Brunz lobs another wild pitch this week, filing on small and affordable East Village Korean joint, the alleged Momofuku alternative, Persimmon. The meal and the service sound uneven, but there's nothing Bruni appreciates more than good value. The place gets a star:

"...the restaurant’s chef and owner, Youngsun Lee, is interested first and foremost in making his cooking — which veers from daringly creative in one dish to steadfastly authentic in the next — as accessible as possible.

...Persimmon Kimchi House (that’s its fuller, longer name) is more challenging and more particular than any Momofuku. It’s also more uneven: at least a third of the dishes I tried prompted yawns or head-scratching. But at least another third riveted me, and all in all I enjoyed what struck me as the polar opposite of a cookie-cutter, fashion-driven meal, the Momofuku invocations notwithstanding."

He's not as smitten as some previous critics, but hey, it's worth the $40: "Persimmon is an adventure, and the bumpiness of the trip — including spasmodic and sometimes confused service — is in large part redeemed by the price." [NYT]

Jay Cheshes is the latest to file on Matsugen, and he gives it a whopping five of six stars: "Stocked with sushi, soba and yakitori bars, Manhattan has become Tokyo on the Hudson...Matsugen...covers familiar territory. There’s sushi, sashimi, homemade tofu, tempura, handmade noodles, shabu-shabu and grilled meat. Yet it’s all so deftly prepared, and with such attention to detail, that it feels fresh and new." [TONY]

Paul Adams offers the rare rave for Tribeca newcomer Forge, from Marc Forgione: "Forge doesn't make many such slips. A tartare of excellent wild kampachi ($18) is served tightly packed, submerged in a mild broth. As you attack the mass of coarse-cut fish and lush avocado, it drifts apart in a slow choreography, leaving you with a bowl of delicious tartare soup." [NYS]

The RG has a rave for the Jean-Georges/Matsushita brothers Tribeca project Matsugen, and it gets four out of five stars: "I can tell you that Jean-Georges Vongerichten has done New York an enormous favor...In a way, it all comes down to noodles - smooth, medium, coarse, some hot, some cold, bathing in a dozen different broths...when you stir it with your chopsticks - piercing the egg yolk - suddenly you find yourself staring into a swirling galaxy of soba." [NYDN]

While Platt takes another week of vacay, the Robs file on newcomer The General Greene and award it four of five UG stars for its "NBC" (New Brooklyn Cuisine): "There is often a whiff of the barnyard about these places, and in the case of the General Greene, a month-old addition to the burgeoning NBC category, the philosophy takes physical form...There are no chickens clucking out back, nor is there an actual plot of dirt under cultivation...But at its heart and on its plates, the General Greene is true to its type, and a terrific, if somewhat unlikely newcomer to the Brooklyn dining scene." [NYM]

THE ELSEWHERE: Pete Wells files on Carroll Gardens dumpling spot Eton, Alan Richman checks out two conveyor belt sushi spots, East Japanese Restaurant and Sakae Sushi, Ryan Lane visits the Hamptons' Bobby Van's, Nick & Toni's, and Townline BBQ, Sietsema is at Keur Mame Diarra on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Moira Hodgson has some nice things to say about Hundred Acres, Gael Greene has a few "nits to pick" at Convivio, and Tables for Two tests out the spice at Rhong Tiam.

THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives an A, B+, and B- to various element at Pinche Taqueria, Writing With My Mouth Full is at Bar Boulud, so is the Pink Pig, Feisty Foodie is at Craftbar, and Lifestyle of a Yuppie files on The Smith.
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