Tomorrow Times critic Sam Sifton files on the new location of A Voce, Missy Robbins' attempt to translate her homey Italian food served off Madison Square Park to a shiny, glitzy space off Columbus Circle. There are a lot of factors at play here, but it's late, so let's be brief.
PLAYBOOK: A Voce downtown earned three stars from the Brunmeister, a ranking the chefs at the new spot must so desperately want. But those stars were for the food of Andrew Carmellini, now cooking at Locanda Verde. Missy received a Dining Brief, a rave of a Brief, but a Brief all the same. She has yet to face the star system. This is is a different spot with different rhythms, noise levels, clientele, and Sifton is now on a streak of demoting restaurants that have moved (or in this case expanded) from intimate to more grandiose settings. That said, other critics have mostly filed raves.
SIFT HAPPENS: It's a guaranteed twospot, no question, and a three if the chefs nail it. If Sift Happens, and the setting doesn't appeal to him, the food comes out uneven, it's a one.
THE LINE: Sift Happens: 15-1; Two Stars: 3-1; Three Stars: 4-1. [A Voce Columbus Reviewed, after 8PM; NYT]