As noted yesterday, Sam Sifton just dropped a two spot on Jonathan Benno's massive, ambitious Italian fine-dining concept, Lincoln. Sifton, like others before him, loves much of the food but finds the space to be lacking excitement, the prices to be steep, and the service to be on point, but lacking warmth. His takeaway: "Yes, the food is terrific. But we go to Lincoln Center for both more and less than that." Sifton continues to ponder just what, exactly, a restaurant at Lincoln Center should be like on the Diner's Journal Blog, asking for readers to chime in with their thoughts.
Adam Platt awards two stars to Michael White's newest, Osteria Morini. He's not wowed by the entrees, but raves about the fireworks that precede them: "There were absurdly rich croquettes filled with molten deposits of béchamel...delicious little pots of sformato (egg custard) mingled with braised mushrooms and truffles, and crocks of braised coxcombs...These nourishing treats were followed to the table by White’s generally impeccable pastas." [NYM]
Jay Cheshes find both the atmosphere and the food at the Hurricane Club to be high class kitsch. He awards it two stars out of five. [TONY]
Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton enjoys much of Michael White’s hearty fare at Osteria Morini, but thinks the chef could refine things a bit: “he should ease up on the cholesterol and make Morini the excellent restaurant it deserves to be. Italian is a very crowded field in New York these days.” He awards it two stars. [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Gael Greene loves the atmosphere and most of the food at Benno’s Lincoln, but, like so many others, is surprised by skimpy portions. The Insatiable Critic also finds that Donatella Arpaia's kitchen is still delivering the goods at Mia Donna. Ligaya Mishan files a positive Dining Brief on Bonita replacement Cariño in Williamsburg, Julia Moskin likes the starters at UES Italian newcomer Tiella but thinks it still has some kinks to iron out before it can reach its full potential as an upscale trattoria. Tables for Two is thrilled by the food at Brooklyn Fare and finds the experience strange, but charming overall. And Robert Sietsema heads to Szechuan Chalet on the UES to sample some solid Chinese fare with spicy food expert and music legend Dr. John.
THE BLOGS: The Oyster Blog declares that Julie Rainer's Lani Kai is like a "mini vacation," A Tiger In The Kitchen has a great brunch and mediocre dinner at the shop at Andaz, Bella/Bello offers an insanely detailed breakdown of the turkey sandwich at No.7 Sub, Gourmet Dude goes on a questionable "culinary safari" with a group eight deep and hits up Eataly, Mermaid Oyster Bar, 15 East, Barbounia, SD26, Mesa Grill, DBGB and Madame Geneva, Eat Big Apple checks in on Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen after their Michelin star and agrees with the tire company, Immaculate Infatuation are big fans of The Fat Radish, Fork in the Road falls for the Druze breakfast at UWS offshoot Gazala's, and eateryROW enjoys everything at Fort Defiance.