As noted yesterday, this week Sam Sifton awarded a disappointing one star to Michael White's new Soho spot Osteria Morini. He asserts that White goes too far with the fatty, offering too much butter, cream, lardo, meat. But his bigger point it that the kitchen is inconsistent, that the food suffers when White steps out of the kitchen to tend to his other properties.
Meanwhile, about 60 blocks uptown, Steve Cuozzo lands a painful blow on Jonathan Benno's Lincoln. Before going on to take apart almost every dish, the Cuozz writes, "I’d never hoped to lavish praise on a new restaurant as much as I hoped to on Lincoln...But so far, Lincoln suggests a new opera production where neither conductor, singers nor stagehands have fully mastered the score." [NYP]
Robert Sietsema heads to Fort Greene to try Kuma Inn spinoff Umi Nom: "Umi Nom sails on the same tack as Kuma Inn, mixing its Philippine food with dishes that are principally Thai, Japanese, and Chinese, a menu that pleases everyone without pulling its flavor punches—though the portions are larger than at its parent restaurant." [VV]
Unlike Sam Sifton, Jay Cheshes is completely won over by Michael White's Osteria Morini: "Like a Babbo for east-siders, the casual spot’s old-world decor, lusty food and rock & roll soundtrack do more than any of its predecessors to position White as a worthy successor to Mario Batali’s throne...His personal connection to the area surfaces in the decor...and in the bold, rustic food. But even the most traditional dishes bear his cosmopolitan touch." [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Betsy Andrews files an Under on newish trucks Mexicue and Korilla, Bloomberg has a round up of where to get tasty gluten free meals, Tables for Two tries the pairings at Beer Table in Brooklyn, and Gael Greene is wowed by understated French-Vietnamese newcomer Rouge et Blanc.
THE BLOGS: Holiday travel brings ultraclay to Andrew Carmellini's Croque Madame, The Food Doc has a stellar birthday meal at Gramercy Tavern, A Tiger In The Kitchen dines with Gael Greene at Lotus of Siam and dislikes both the food and service, Immaculate Infatuation has great experiences at both Burger and Barrel and Aburiya Kinnosuke, The Pink Pig enjoys much of what he tries at Manzo, despite cringing at the fact that it's in Eataly, and Serious Eats gives an "optimistic B" to Cobble Hill's Breucklen.