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Week in Reviews: Elizabeth Gets a One

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Ed Stern, 4/30/08

Today, the Franktastic awards an expected one star to the little known Nolita spot Elizabeth. There are some hits, some misses, and an overall sense of disorganization, but in the end, the Brunz is amused:

"If you’ve ever wondered what Barbie might binge on when Ken’s getting her down, the new restaurant Elizabeth has the answer. It’s called a cotton candy sundae...It’s frosty and fruity and sweet and artificial: everything that’s good and important in life.

...Are these concoctions serious and accomplished and bound to be the envy of pastry chefs from the East Village to the Upper West Side? No. But they’re undeniably amusing, and they go down pretty easily in the end.

The same can be said of Elizabeth. It has its problems, annoyances and confusions. Just four months old, it has already changed plenty, and it still doesn’t seem entirely sure of what it wants to be. But it also has an adventurous, sometimes silly spirit that’s winning in its way."

And he saves some room at the end for a dig at the Nolita diners: "That’s no doubt reassuring to the generally young and clearly appearance-conscious patrons, who want something festive but not too filling. I bet they split those madcap desserts in three. Their appetites tend to be doll-size." [NYT]

Alan Richman decides it's time to weigh in on the critic brawl between Bruni and Platt over the new Jean-Georges soba palace Matsugen. He mostly sides with Bruni: "I don’t know if Matsugen is brave, but it is excellent and even more than that, it’s an important restaurant, offering high-level, classic Japanese dining unavailable anywhere else in Manhattan." [GQ]

Sarah DiGregorio files on Andy Yang's two very different projects Rhong Tiam and Kurve: "...on a choice corner in the middle of the action, Kurve is echoingly empty...Meanwhile, Rhong-Tiam has no design to speak of, received no press buzz for its opening, and...all the tables are full at lunch on a Wednesday, or late dinner on a Monday...their wildly different fates almost give you faith that the New York restaurant scene is a meritocracy after all." [VV]

The RG has a welcome slam today for Soho hotspot (and urination victim) Delicatessen. It manages to get one star despite its failings: "They're serving food that isn't actually food. What they're really serving is a scene...The cheeseburger spring rolls, clearly a novelty item, resemble a Hot Pocket stuffed with supergluey American cheese and loose ground beef. Speaking of Hot Pockets, the halibut tacos look like an open-faced rendition of this microwave classic." [NYDN]

Jay Cheshes also weighs in on the sceney Delicatessen but is a little more impressed. He gives it four out of six stars: "Yes, the place is in-your-face brash and thunderously loud...but the food and service are so much better than this mob scene demands...Chef Doron Wong...has been using this nightclubby joint—think Schiller’s on steroids—as an unlikely showcase for his considerable talents." [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ryan Sutton tries the drinks on offer at Clo and Macondo, add Paul Adams and The Cuozz to the Convivio fan club, Betsey Andrews files a round up/$25 and Under piece on 67 Burger, 5 Napkin Burger, and Joy Burger Bar, and Sietsema tries some Bangkok cuisine at Kensington's Am-Thai Chili Basil Kitchen.

THE BLOGS: Ed Levine awards an A- to the fried chicken and a B to everything else at Piece of Chicken, NYC Foodie expands his horizons at South African newcomer Braai, Jazz in Strange Places makes a maiden voyage to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Lifestyle of a Yuppie reviews both Manhattan and Brooklyn branches of Sea Thai, Bret Thorn tries to be a mope but ends up having some fun at Thor, and Cleaned My Plate checks in on Gramercy Tavern.


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