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Week in Reviews: Gus & Gabriel's Gets the Goose

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Krieger, 6/29/09

Dining section editor Pete Wells takes advantage of the purgatory between Bruni and Sifton to file a brutal takedown of Michael Psilakis' disappointing pub concept Gus & Gabriel's Gastropub. It's not that MP aims low, Wells writes, it's that he can't even achieve his low goals. It gets the goose:

His fast and glorious run earned Mr. Psilakis, 41, national acclaim. It brought Gus & Gabriel a high level of attention upon its arrival early this summer. And it makes that restaurant’s colossal misfires almost impossible to believe and harder still to explain.
...almost every chef in town is experimenting with techniques for building a better burger. Mr. Psilakis may be the only one to have perfected a new technology that magically strips out all the taste...He uses the same device on pork butt and pork ribs. Is he sending all the flavor to his other restaurants?

...if Mr. Psilakis wanted to serve bar food, why didn’t he just open a bar?...He had an idea and, once he relocated Kefi, he had an empty restaurant. But he seems not to have paused to ask if they were right for each other.

[NYT]

Debating between two similes, Plattypants decides that The Standard Grill is like a factory (not a theater), a "chic food factory" with unexpected quality of product. He gives it two: "Like the city’s great brasserie genius, Keith McNally, Silverman has a knack for making everything on his menu sound good, and most things deliver." [NYM]

Ed Levine files on Andrew Carmellini's fried chicken dinners: "The chicken had a blond, well-seasoned crust that gave way to incredibly tender and juicy meat...But to move me to tears fried chicken needs to have a crunchy, crispy, almost lacquered crust that becomes one with the skin and the flesh, and this chicken was lacking in the crunchy-crispy cosmic one-ness department." [SE]

Jay Cheshes is beyond disappointed with Sfoglia's new sister restaurant Civetta, giving it two stars: "What sets Civetta apart, most of all, are the tin-ear prices...New York diners are of course accustomed to paying sky-high prices for upmarket food served in elegant settings, but neither the cooking nor the dining room here fits those criteria." [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Restaurant Girl finds much that is average at Aureole, Tables for Two enjoys Gus & Gabriel's Gastropub only slightly more than Wells, Ryan Sutton finds laziness at Brooklyn Bowl and some nice surprises at Brooklyn Star, Oliver Strand is seduced by the coffee at Stumptown in the Ace Hotel and discovers elegant simplicity at M & T Restaurant in Flushing, Asiate totally botches it with Alan Richman, and Robert Sietsema finds cuisine from the Shandong province at Golden Palace in Queens.

THE BLOGS: Young and Hungrry highly recommends Bacaro, NY Journal writes that Knife + Fork is still excellent, The Hungry Roach wants to bring her grandmother to Joseph Leonard, Food in Mouth tries the brunch at Macao Trading Co., and the Pink Pig deems Sorella a good spot if you're in the neighborhood.

Aureole

135 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 (212) 319-1660 Visit Website

The Standard Grill

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

Locanda Verde

377 Greenwich Street, Manhattan, NY 10013 (212) 925-3797 Visit Website

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