"You can have mussels in a skillet with chipotle, chorizo and calamari, or you can have them in a tall, hooded pot with pearls of roasted corn, diced country ham and a bourbon-inflected, mustard-spiked cream sauce...Flex isn’t entirely about the bivalve. It’s just as much about the broth...
That’s as it should be. A mussel can only preen so much. That’s where Flex and its spotlighted fare really deliver, in that a hillock of the mussels, coupled with plenty of broth-soaked bread, makes for a sizable dinner without a sizable check."[NYT]
The Brunzinator takes aim at another seafood spot, Harbour, with a Dining Brief: "the kitchen...operates with an ambition that could almost be called poignant, given the increasingly casual tack that diners are taking...My dinner was a foamy, frothy cruise..There’s nonetheless some arresting food and impressive cooking at Harbour..." [NYT]
Gael Greene almost writes less than a rave for Locanda Verde, but is won over in the end with a free dessert: "I can’t wait to go back. I’m thinking about that food a lot...Admittedly, I’m disappointed at how meager our pork dish is, how scanty the curls of crunchy skin. But then a quartet of DeMasco’s splendid desserts sent as a gift sends us off on a high." [Insatiable Critic]
The RG likes the pizza at Emporio, but has a few snafus with the pasta and the rabbit. She awards it the threespot: "The pie crusts at Emporio are so terrifically crunchy and thin, they're more like Frisbee-size crackers. The best pizzaiolas - the guys making the pies - are true chefs. My favorite is a warm Frisbee cracker topped with super-smoky guanciale, kale and Pecorino cream." [NYDN]
Plattypants is back from vacay this week and has filed a twofer on Aldea and Apiary, awarding both two stars and praising the merits of restos with "low-profile chefs" like George Mendes and Scott Bryan: "With its pocket-size kitchen, its small but sophisticated menu, and its technically accomplished, low-profile chef, Aldea looks like a prototype of the gourmet restaurant of tomorrow, and maybe it is...everyone at my table went slightly nuts over was the arroz de pato, a kind of newfangled trencherman’s paella." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: The Cuozz is on the expense account beat with the pricey Marea and Montenapo, Oliver Schwaner-Albright can't get enough of Cafe Pedlar, Alan Richman runs the second part of his NYC pizza recs, Tables for Two checks out the bar scene at Gottino and Wilfie & Nell, Ryan Sutton weighs in on Keste, Emporio, and Veloce, Metromix has a mixed bag for Butcher Bay, Sarah DiGregorio checks in on Cure and Ballaro, and Robert Sietsema heads to Flushing for Southern Spice.
THE BLOGS: Nick Solares gives an A to Marea, Mona's Apple has a disaster at 10 Downing, eateryROW likes Five Points despite the older crowd and high prices, Feisty Foodie rates the sandwiches from the banh mi cart, A Tiger in the Kitchen gives Pho Sure"s been peen the attention it deserves, and NYC Food Guy finds some worthy bagel toppings at Zucker's in Tribeca.