Frankie Brunz takes the F train down to Carroll Gardens this week to file on neighborhood hit Buttermilk Channel, a newish restaurant that trendily sources everything from its sausages to its beer to its ice cream locally. Frank gives her a one:
"All of this makes Buttermilk Channel a restaurant of real standards, noteworthy ambition and uncommon slavishness to trends. It’s laudable and predictable in equal measures. And it was packed every time I went...
...the crowds that have descended on Buttermilk since it opened in November also speak to the kitchen’s efforts, the best of which are very fine indeed. Although one in three dishes widely misses its mark and the restaurant’s reach frequently exceeds its grasp, there’s the possibility of a terrific meal. There’s the probability of a pleasant one."[NYT]
In an attempt to piss off Eric Ripert (who isn't so bemused by that 12 year-old "food critic"), Alan Richman lets the kid critic with a movie deal write his review of Le Bernardin for him this week: "...it was the chocolate ganache, so smooth and rich, that lingered with me for the rest of the night. That and a final thought. I realized with a pang how much it hurt to be mesmerized by a chef who hates me." A tad dramatic, huh kid? [GQ]
While Richman attempted to stick it to Ripert, Bruni revisited Freemans to remind us all it's not worth the hype: "...it’s a heartbreaker, because the eating seems never to live up to the setting, and there’s no getting around that. Although the restaurant brought aboard a new chef, Michael Citarella, last year, a recent meal there was no better than ones I’d had before." [NYT]
The RG visits Jim Lahey's Co, loves the crust (not so much anything else), and awards it two stars: "What you get is a salty, bubbly crust that manages to be chewy, crunchy and crusty at the same time...But it's the only thing that's always perfect at Company. Unfortunately, pizza isn't just crust." [NYDN]
Platt files an uptown twofer this week. He grants David Burke's "theatrical" Fishtail one star: "'More is better' has always been one of Burke’s credos, but with fish...this can be a dangerous game...If you avoid these strained attempts at innovation, however, it’s possible to have a decent, even festive dinner." And the redo of The Oak Room gets zilch: "The stagy, oppressive atmosphere at the new Oak Room is not greatly relieved by the quality of the food." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Julia Moskin is wowed by the "symphony of starch" at Seasonal, Sarah DiGregorio tries the barbecue at Jim Mamary's newest, Whiskey Sunday Bar-BQ, Jay Cheshes gives three stars to Shang, Sietsemsa hates the name but loves the mussels at Flex Mussels, Ryan Sutton enjoys burgers and pizzas at City Burger and Co., and Tables for Two finds The John Dory overpowering but delicious.
THE BLOGS: Sietsema blogs about a mixed bag at Marfa's, Ed Levine gives a B to the five dishes for $5 deal at Fay Da in Midtown, Writing with my Mouth Full is impressed with Txikito, Gotham Gal thinks she can cook better than Harold at Perilla, Goodies First enjoys Mercat, DBTH gives the thumbs up to Above Allen, Nick Solares is down with the $45 prix fixe at Ssam Bar, and Lifestyle of a Yuppie calls Prespa the most underrated spot in Murray Hill.