Taking a chapter from the book of Bruni, Sam Sifton pens his slam of the restaurant above a nightclub Lavo in the form of a letter to a douchey bro reader. Why Lavo is even getting a review is a fair question, but since the deed has been done—a "Fair" goose egg—Let's get right into it:
There isn’t a soft surface in the place, and the noise is cacophonous: it’s all raging id up there, a bull market in confidence, everyone waiting for the women to show...You want a meatball? You don’t, but they sell it as a signature item here, Lavo’s version of Nobu’s miso-marinated cod (not really!), a pound of Kobe rolled up into a too-salty ragu, or served with whipped ricotta or a salad. Better to order one of the oblong pizzas...In the end, it's about what one would expect: a clubby restaurant for besuited men and underdressed women (and some cougars!) to gather at before the actual club going. Some food is fine, some is not, most of it is expensive. Sifty concludes, "They ought to be spinning music downstairs by now. Take your girl down and get some vodka on. Your boys as well." [NYT]
...Other stocks rated buy include: The crisp chicken Dominic, with its dressing of white balsamic and chili flakes, and a wide footprint of veal parmigiano in a spicy marinara sauce. Avoid the rest, especially the gummy pastas, the shirt-cardboard veal Milanese.
Sam Sifton checks in and reports that all is well at the Harrison since owner Jimmy Bradley took over for chef Amanda Freitag "The menu was vintage Bradley, modern-American bistro food cooked with a New England accent. A frisée salad ($11) was excellent, bitter and salty, and it led into some terrific skillet-roasted chicken ($24) with lemon and garlic, with excellent skin and soft, flavorful meat." [NYT]
Ryan Sutton uses Bloomberg's generous expense account to try truffle dishes at Bar Masa, Aldea, Per Se, Burger & Barrel, DBGB, Colicchio & Sons, and a handful of others. It's not really worth the price: "Thomas Keller’s extravagant Per Se is probably the best place in New York to try white truffles. That’s my best advice after a series of mostly mediocre encounters with this earthy, expensive delicacy." [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Gael Greene is happy she made a return visit to Mesa Grill, Julia Moskin thinks Hill Country Chicken is turning out some "top-level" food, Jay Cheshes loves what Geoffrey Zakarian is doing at The Lambs Club, Tables for Two files on the culinary eccentricities of Tribeca's Il Matto, and Robert Sietsema declares the food "amazing" at Flushing's Henan Feng Wei
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives a B+ to Riverpark, Immaculate Infatuation singles out the desserts at Peels, count Law and Food as another Osteria Morini fan, The Food Doc has a rave for Ciano's pastas, NY Journal loves the food but takes issue with the pacing of courses at Kin Shop, and Cleaned My Plate has some ups and downs at Riverpark.