Frank the Tank hits up Zak Pelaccio's new Upper West Side branch of his spicy Malaysian downtown hit Fatty Crab (reviewed in the Under in '05), awarding it two stars. If you're goofy, a stoner, maintain a certain sense of adventure, or "equate fattiness with godliness", you'll love it. Otherwise, not so much:
"In the end it’s not the Malaysian flavors or Manhattan tropes — both present here in the extreme — that will dictate your response to the new Fatty Crab...It’s your sense of play, your appetite for a certain kind of giddy, sloppy abandon. It’s your eagerness to eat with your fingers and to make slurping noises as you mouth-wrestle with slippery noodles and to feel a flush in your cheeks as chilies light up your tongue."
"Are its flavors in fact too big, too unrelenting? What qualifies as a bold deployment of chilies and aiolis, and what’s just indiscriminate overkill?...every time I began to doubt the kitchen’s care and skill, something came along to restore my belief."[NYT]
Ryan Sutton realizes not much has changed over the years at Monkey Bar: "Graydon Carter...has taken over Manhattan’s famed Monkey Bar. That’s why A- listers and alcohol are the main event, and why food is a simian sideshow. In other words, Monkey Bar is just like it used to be." [Bloomberg]
Sarah DiGregorio isn't totally on board with the Naples-style pizza at Keste: "...a simple adherence to the APN's guidelines doesn't guarantee a great pie. Kesté's pizzas are, on the whole, tasty—as long as you're not expecting a crisp, thinnish New York–style crust...You couldn't pick up a slice even if you wanted to—it would flop, and the toppings would slide off." [VV]
The lede in the Tables for Two review of Delicatessen, the first assessment to come after a big chef change: "As soon as the government has finished with the banks, a stress test for restaurants might be in order, and the ones in east SoHo and on the Lower East Side, which have burgeoned roughly in step with bank branches, should be first in line...it will emerge that many...are stuck with assets (and food) that are undoubtedly toxic." And this: "If Topshop were a restaurant, it would be this restaurant." [New Yorker]
THE ELSEWHERE: Alan Richman does a round up on fancy prix fixe lunches, Gourmet goes gaga over the new Emporio in Nolita, Betsy Andrews files on Bouley Market and Get Fresh Table and Market, Sietsema has one of the best whiting sandwiches in New York at A Taste of Seafood in Harlem, the Cuozz thinks La Fonda del Sol is the comeback Spanish food in New York needed, Jay Cheshes gives Minetta Tavern four out of six stars, and Metromix has more than a few clunkers at The Fat Hippo.
THE BLOGS: Goodies First goes veggie at Dirt Candy, Robert Sietsema reviews the new iteration of Da Andrea, Ed Levine gives an A- to lunch at Kefi, Writing With My Mouth Full isn't a fan of the pricing but likes the Latin fare at Cafe Cartadito, and Cleaned My Plate hopes Table 8 is here to stay.