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Week in Reviews: Sho Shaun Hergatt, The Mott, and More

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Krieger, 6/5/09

In the span of time between Bruni's final review last week and Sam Sifton's first filing this October, the restaurant industry will just have to make due with interim critics, more Dining Briefs, and an expanded $25 and Under program. Today, Pete Wells files on FiDi's bizarre and poorly timed upscale newcomer Sho Shaun Hergatt:

While other chefs litter their menus with call-outs to regional farmers, Mr. Hergatt’s favorite purveyor seems to be Federal Express. Tasmanian ocean trout, Hawaiian kampachi, Scottish salmon: Scan the ingredients and you can’t help thinking of all that jet fuel. In August, seasonal produce was hard to spot.
...Mr. Hergatt is a master technician and a skilled manipulator of tastes and textures. I reveled in the frothy Thai basil broth around seared salmon, and the nearly lush salad of turnips and beets...Why all the edible gold foil?...Why, oh why, the aimless new-agey piano soundtrack that sounds like an airline’s pre-flight welcome music?
Bottom line: great cook, weird restaurant. [NYT]

Jay Cheshes deems The Standard Grill the savior of the Meatpacking District, giving it four stars: "The drawing fashionable diners back to the neighborhood. But even more than the clientele, it’s the waitstaff who turn heads at dinner...Though they may not care much about the food they whisk to the table, lucky for us Dan Silverman’s kitchen does." [TONY]

Robert Sietsema surmises that Cowgirl Sea Horse borrowed some dishes from long gone NYC restaurants like Tortilla Flats, Miracle Grill, Cottonwood Café, and Sugar Reef: "The best of these retro borrowings is Gulf Coast's excellent seafood gumbo...There hasn't been such a luscious gumbo in town since Paul Prudhomme packed up his knives and his humongous belly and went home to New Orleans, after he briefly opened a K-Paul's on lower Broadway in the '80s." [VV]

The RG tries out Nolita newcomer The Mott, and enjoys herself even without a glass of wine (it still awaits a liquor license): "There are a lot of gnocchi dishes in this city, but the ricotta gnocchi at The Mott are perfectly cooked, pillowy nibbles...Pork belly isn't typically light eating, but Brier curiously manages to make it taste that way." [NYDN]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ryan Sutton files on sandwiches both great and disappointing at Picnick, Smoked, Public Fare, and Xie Xie, Alan Richman thinks Umi Nom is a game changer for a sad stretch of Fort Greene, Sarah DiGregorio finds that Bhatti Indian Grill in Curry Hill offers thoughtful, home-style Punjabi food, and Tables for Two is surrounded by girls at new hotspot Hotel Griffou.

THE BLOGS: Carey Jones finds Rye maddedingly inconsistent, giving it a B/B+, NYC Foodie runs into Anne Burrell and Guy Fieri at Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles, Mouthfuls offers up some thoughts and some photos on Recipe on the UWS, A Tiger in the Kitchen tries brunch at Bar Artisanal, Immaculate Infatuation thinks Keste is hot as balls but worth it, and Always Eating singles out the top dogs at Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn.

The Standard Grill

848 Washington Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 645-4100 Visit Website

SHO Shaun Hergatt

40 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004 (212) 809-3993 Visit Website