Frank the Tank shows up at 10 Downing this week to reassess the talents of one Chef Jason Neroni. Of course Frank makes mention of Neroni's brush with the law, his James Beard grovelling, the year-long delays at 10 Downing, but when he gets to the point of the piece—Neroni's cooking—we learn the colorful chef earns two stars:
"...he has rewarded them with cooking more complete and grounded than much of what he’s accomplished before...
...The kitchen seems to be getting better and better, and I seldom had the sense that Mr. Neroni was showing off, which he’s been known to do. What was strongest about the best dishes wasn’t some fanciful conceit or adornment, but rather the quality and preparation of the centerpiece ingredient."And of course we need to address the noise: "10 Downing has the blessing and curse of glass walls on two sides. They give an open feel to the restaurant...The din can be excruciating." [NYT]
Ryan Sutton files a twofer this week on Craftsteak's Halfseak and the Denton Bros' "mulligan," 'inoteca. On the former: "If other high-end steakhouses want to survive...They should espouse Halfsteak-like programs of small plates or small steaks..." And the latter: "‘Inoteca isn’t just cheaper than Bar Milano. It’s better." [Bloomberg]
Co. finds yet another fan in Jay Cheshes: "Is it possible that Co., New York’s first new marquee pizza joint to open since Franny’s made its Brooklyn debut in 2004, will kick off an haute pizza craze?...it certainly seems like it might." [TONY]
The RG visits the redo of Seymour Burton, Butcher Bay, and she does not leave happy. She gives it one and a half stars: "Seymour Burton served fried clams, and so does Butcher Bay. But Butcher Bay's are overbattered and underfried...the oyster chowder at Butcher Bay is thin and flavorless. The Green Goddess salad is woefully overdressed, not exactly how you like to see your goddess." [NYDN]
THE ELSEWHERE: Matt Gross heads to Flushing to see what all the fuss is about at Jollibee, Oliver Schwaner-Albright has some hits and misses at Dirt Candy, The Cuozz, seeking comfort food, runs a grilled cheese roundup, Tables for Two also has some thoughts on 10 Downing, Alan Richman endures long waits for good snacks at Gottino, and Robert Sietsema heads out to Jackson Heights for Nepalese cuisine at Mustang Thakali Kitchen, while Sarah DiGregorio hits up La Fonda del Sol.
THE BLOGS: Lifestyle of a Yuppie checks in on the new University Place Ramen Setagaya, Goodies First has a rushed but delicious meal at Matsugen, Cleaned My Plate heads to West Village old timer El Farro, Boozy NYC sees room for improvement at Raines Law Room, and Easy Ed gives an A- to the bahn mi at Ba Xuyen in Borough Park.