Either Bruni has gone totally off the hinges or this is one of his more inspired moves. In order to address the pretension and affected exclusivity of the West Village restaurant Charles, Bruni pens his mocking zero star review as a letter from a sceney type to the king insider Graydon Carter. A snippet:
"Graybee baby, I have a confession. Don’t be cross! But I cheated on you. For a while there — and it was just a short while — I thought I’d found something better with Charles. Something cleverer. I’m a fool, I know. But I had my reasons."
For a not so tongue in cheek review, check the audio slideshow. Bruni is asked whether or not the elusive Charles is worth the hassle and responds:
"I wish I could say that behind this vast facade of secrecy there's a gem, but there isn't. This is a place where you're paying fairly steep prices for what should ideally be decent American bistro fare, but time and again the kitchen was cooking things in a really shoddy manner."[NYT]
Alan Richman finds the room beautiful, the service, excellent, the food, uneven at Keith McNally's Minetta Tavern: "The food is certainly steadier at the Waverly Inn (also homier), but the service and the wine list are better at Minetta Tavern. The simple French bistro items that are impeccable at Balthazar, the ones that the chefs in the Minetta Tavern kitchen prepare so well, aren’t served here, and their absence shows." [GQ]
Ryan Sutton deems the food at Per Se mostly excellent. The cost for the a la carte? Excessive: "Keller has said he wants you to exclaim 'God, I wish I had just one more bite of that,' before another course enraptures you. In the salon you’re more likely to say: 'God, I just blew $28 bucks, I have to order more food now?'" [Bloomberg]
The RG decides Scuderia isn't great, but it isn't horrible either, giving it two stars: "I never thought I'd love jam pizza, but at Scuderia, it's wonderful...The tramezzini section...were a gruesome discovery...I loved the squid-ink tagliatelle with fresh fish...But an order of rock-hard meatballs was too far gone..." [NYDN]
It's clear that Platt has no intention of returning to the themey, pricey, Midtown robatayaki Inakaya, but the most dishes are authentic enough to earn one star: "Despite the Disney-style atmosphere, Inakaya serves an array of dutifully authentic Japanese drinking dishes...the more my Japan Snob friends and I paid for a seafood dish, the less we liked it. My $35 grilled lobster was the size of a large shrimp, and the $65 deep-sea snapper...as bony and undersize..." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: The Cuozz decides Armani Ristorante isn't great in general but is great for the neighborhood, Oliver Schwaner-Albright tries three new burgers at Black Iron Burger Shop, City Burger, and Flip, Sietsema heads to Sunset Park to try the pambazos and pozole at Xochimilco, Jay Cheshes gives Daniel a perfect score, Sarah DiGregorio likens a dinner at the East Village's Desnuda to a night in your stoner friend's basement, and Tables for Two finds an excuse to use the word "Billyburg" at Walter Foods.
THE BLOGS: The mutton at Keens makes Writing with my Mouth Full feel stronger and more carnivorous, Ed Levine gives Schnipper's Quality Kitchen a B+/C+, Lifestyle of a Yuppie spots Ang Lee at Omen, The Hungry Roach is "overly impressed" by the thin pies at Spunto, and Goodies First finds the Fatty Dog not wienery at all at the new Fatty Crab.