Pete Wells' reign of terror continues! For the second week in a row, the Dining section editor—filling in until Sam Sifton takes over next month—drops a big fat goose egg, this time on the underwhelming, highly unorganized celeb-magnet Hotel Griffou. The drinks are great, the food okay, but the service sends Wells over the edge:
The restaurant has four dining rooms, and we had an excellent view of one, a bright space with long beer-hall tables that sat empty. We imagined that they were being held for a group. Naturally, this is where we were seated, 50 minutes after we had arrived. I was afraid that if I returned they would hit the one-hour mark and lead me to a produce crate by the dishwasher.
Of everything Hotel Griffou offers, the drinks are the easiest things to swallow. They helped buff the rough edges of the food that followed...Service at Hotel Griffou can be wildly inconsistent. In the Library, we were under the ministrations of a flotilla of servers...On another night, we got the kind of gruff attention you expect at a steakhouse.That said, he does find a recommendable burger, pork cutlet, and strip sirloin steak. Steer clear of the rest. [NYT]
In Plattypants' stead, the Robs file a love letter to the wonderful Fort Defiance in Red Hook, awarding it three UG stars: "Modest and inviting, with a smattering of tables and front windows flung open to the street, it seems most of all to want to be a neighborhood social center, and it provides the food and drink to facilitate that role at any hour." [NYM]
The RG checks in on Yerba Buena Perry, the new Greenwich Village location of an East Village Latin gem: "Medina injects dashes of sophistication into manchego croquetes which emerge atypically fluffy nibbles specked with pickled jalapeno and served alongside a salsa verde dipping sauce...One of my favorite dishes is the camarones con palmito -- meaty shrimp sauteed in a fiery tomato salsa seasoned with lots of jalapeno, capers, and olives." [RG]
Jay Cheshes doesn't think Michael Psilakis' pub grub at Gus & Gabriel's Gastropub is so bad, giving it three stars: "His Mexi Mac-and-Cheese embodies the restaurant’s more-is-more spirit...The resulting gooey, cheesy, meaty mess—pure stoner genius—is as disturbing as it is delicious...Prices are low and portions enormous, even by the elastic-waistband standards of Middle America." [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Oliver Strand files on five new food trucks, Tables for Two finds more food than sports at Sean Avery's sports bar Warren 77, Gael Greene checks out Ed's Chowder House on opening night, liking everything but the drinks, Fort Defiance reminds Sarah DiGregorio that Red Hook is one of the best nabes in the city, and Robert Sietsema finds slow service but food worth the wait at Curry Hill's Coconut Grove.
THE BLOGS: Immaculate Infatuation calls Los Feliz La Esquina for the common folk, Ed Levine gives lunch at Eleven Madison Park an A, The Hungry Roach has a rave for Locanda Verde, The Pink Pig pens a defense for Sho Shaun Hergatt, and a Tiger in the Kitchen is disappointed at the portion sizes at Katsuhama in Midtown.