Today Sam Sifton drops a deuce on Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new Upper East Side project, The Mark. After dispensing with the name dropping and scene setting, he gets to the food:
The menu at the Mark is a smart hedge against the possibility that his inattention would lead to a drop-off in quality there. It is so unambitious that it is difficult to fumble...That doesn’t make it a bad menu.Linguine and pea soup are excellent but recycled from other JGV endeavors, pizza is as good as Motorino's, a lamb chop is "a pleasure worth gnawing," and the shrimp salad and crab cakes aren't half bad either. As critics before him have said, it's boring but decent. In sum, "This one is hardly a risk. But it is a welcome addition to the Upper East Side." [NYT]
The Cuozz can't help but like what JGV's putting out at ABC Kitchen, giving it two and a half stars: "...the loud, hard-edged ABC Kitchen inside the ABC Carpet store wears its shtick on its soil-coated sleeve: 'farm to table'...For all the annoying hype, the green onslaught is a 'must' experience in a year near-barren of compelling openings. [NYP]
Sarah DiGregorio loves the food at Fatty 'Cue but still thinks it's overpriced: "Yes, these ingredients are thoughtfully sourced, and the meat comes from responsible, eco-friendly purveyors, but from a customer's point of view, it feels like a rip-off, especially when the vibe of the place is so pointedly casual...But as splurges go, this is a good one." [VV]
Oliver Strand thinks Village Tart is okay, but Spot Dessert Bar is where Pichet Ong really shines: "It’s as composed and delicious as anything you’ll find in one of Midtown’s temples to fine dining...get a starred-restaurant dessert without jumping through starred-restaurant hoops." [NYT]
Plattypants files a twofer on Jean-Georges' newest, The Mark, and the West Village's Recette, offering two stars apiece. He deems the Mark perfectly acceptable, satisfying but not exciting, noting that it's "fast turning into a kind of upscale scene restaurant for the Swifty’s set." Meanwhile Recette isn't much to look at, "but the modestly priced...small-plate, 'urban American' menu is full of all sorts of elegant and unexpected surprises." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Robert Sietsema is blown away by the surprisingly excellent Murray Hill Thai joint Talent Thai Kitchen, Tables for Two calls Le Sirene one of the most pleasurable French bistros in the city, Gael Greene finds okay food but a shitshow service scenario both times she visits Wall & Water in FiDi, and, as noted yesterday, Jay Cheshes has awarded five stars to Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new downtown venture ABC Kitchen.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives Fatty 'Cue a B, while Goodies First mostly likes it, Law and Food sees what all the fuss is about at Marlow & Sons, neither Cleaned My Plate nor The Pink Pig is impressed by Motorino, Immaculate Infatuation is surprised that the food is actually good at Cafe Gitane, NY Journal calls Mercat an excellent tapas restaurant, and Life with Food and Drink weighs the pros and cons of Craftbar.