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Sam Sifton Awards Osteria Morini Just One Star

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Michael White, a chef who received three stars at Marea, Convivio, Alto, and Fiamma before that just received his first single star review in recent memory. Today Sam Sifton lays a big fat takedown of an uno on his two month-old casual Soho restaurant Osteria Morini. There are positives in here for sure, but he echoes a complaint of Ryan Sutton: it's too heavy, too fatty, too much:

Mr. White’s pastas glisten with pork fat, with butter, with cream, with oil. They are aggressively salted. They hang around on the outskirts of Too Much...

...That is true of almost everything on the menu of Osteria Morini, as it happens...Mr. White puts Italian traditions through the American supersize machine. There is enough duck-liver mousse in his antipasto portion to spackle a room...He spit-roasts pork in a thick jacket of skin with rosemary and sage, then serves a huge disc of it, meat and fat in equal measure...It is all comically overmuch, a Pixar vision of Italy’s upper thigh...

Also, the inevitable criticism: Sifton hints that White may be spread too thin, ending the review thusly, "It is a truth of the restaurant business that you cannot make any money unless you expand. It is a related truth that expansion is dangerous, because it can stretch a chef too thin. Osteria Morini, for all its good nights and delicious wine, shows that danger plain." [NYT]

Osteria Morini

218 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 (212) 965-8777 Visit Website

Osteria Morini

218 Lafayette St., New York, NY