Nine months after giving a three star review to Tom Colicchio's restaurant Colicchio & Sons, Sam Sifton drops a deuce on the star chef's latest operation—this one with chef Sisha Ortuzar—Riverpark. It's pretty enough, quiet enough, weirdly located, vaguely anonymous. The service is fine. What's good, for the most part, is the food:
Mr. Ortúzar offers a dish of mackerel escabeche that is a good place to start, a kind of double-cooked ceviche on a bed of crisp paella with a blanket of the Ibérico ham known as pata negra. It is a Spanish-style trio with American heft...He pulls off a similar trick with a tangle of braised octopus with cockles....Roasted sturgeon, with sunchokes, radicchio, dates, pistachio and red wine, is a fabulous surprise, with its dense meat cooked into opalescent sweetness and accompanied by Middle Eastern flavors.Still awake? He ends by noting again that, yes, it's a weird restaurant to get to and that "the success of Riverpark is still a mystery unfolding." [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo awards two stars to the new Upper West Side branch of The Atlantic Grill: "What could possibly be exciting about Atlantic Grill Lincoln Center, closely modeled on B.R. Guest's original Atlantic Grill on Third Avenue? Nothing, if you crave culinary daring. But it's exactly what the thriving Lincoln Square area needed: a non-touristy, value-for-money eatery equally appealing to locals and the hordes flocking to Lincoln Center and the new Apple store." [NYP]
Robert Sietsema loves the curries, the squid ink soup, and most everything else at Harold Dieterle's new Thai joint Kin Shop: "While Perilla just kissed its bistro-style cooking with Asian flavors, Kin Shop dives head-first into Thai—funky fish sauce, exotic herbs, and all." [VV]
Ryan Sutton writes that the food has a long way to go at Lincoln, but he has faith in Benno: "There are easily assembled preparations like prosciutto with burrata and squash ($22). It’s well executed, the creaminess of the cheese offsetting the salty meat. Yet it’s no more distinctive than one served at a catered dinner party...What lingers, though, are the dishes like that nutty cod and the intense lobster raviolo. They promise the kind of first- rate experience that only Lincoln’s prices now suggest." [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Julia Moskin recommends the strong coffee and elegant sweets at Kurt Gutenbrunner's Cafe Kristall, Metromix recommends the burger and not much else at Burger & Barrel, Jay Cheshes gives three stars to Kin Shop, Sam Sifton calls Mary Queen of Scots perfectly unexciting, and Gael Greene has a wonderful first meal, but not such a great second at Shea Gallante's Ciano.
THE BLOGS: The Food Doc points out his memorable dishes at Fish Tag, Park Slope Patch doesn't think the latest restaurant at a troubled space in Brooklyn, Comida Mercado Fresco, will break the curse, though it's no place for a man date, the Immaculate Infatuation boys deem Annisa perfect for dinner with the gourmand parents, The Hungry Roach calls Aria an excellent addition to the West Village dining scene, Serious Eats gives an A- to Hakata Ton Ton, Law & Food loves the spicy chicken at Peaches Hot House, NY Journal sees potential in Octavia's Porch down on Avenue B, and The Oyster Blog has some gamey oysters at the surprisingly good Goat Town.