Sam Sifton heads back to Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens this week to file a follow up review to his positive Dining Brief back in November. He still digs the place, giving it two stars. Aside from the annoying but acceptable no reservation policy, and the annoying but unacceptable cash only policy, he can find no fault in the restaurant:
Serious pleasures await within: a salad of greens slicked in bacon vinaigrette, say, with matchsticks of apple and crunchy lardons of bacon, followed by roasted La Belle Rouge chicken, the breast brined in pickle juice before cooking and the bird’s fat, luscious thigh meat shredded into a tangle with sautéed farmstand greens. It seems as simple a meal as you might find in a restaurant. But it is executed with a rare degree of excellence...He rattles off descriptions of more excellent dishes and concludes, "The best restaurants give us a taste of the life we aspire to have. All it takes at Prime Meats is time and cash on the barrelhead." [NYT]
...a meal in the restaurant proceeds with all the jollity and good manners of something scripted by Laura Ingalls Wilder and scored by the Grateful Dead. It is an extremely pleasant place.
Steve Cuozzo gives one and a half stars to the Trump Soho's new restaurant, Miami import Quattro: "The menu’s middle-of-the-road Italian with a northern bias. Executive chef Fabrizio Carro uses lots of real Italian ingredients...Inconsistency plagues the menu." [NYP]
Ryan Sutton calls Keith McNally's Pulino's a flop: "There are many good pizzerias in New York. Pulino’s is not one of them. Chef Nate Appleman’s Left Coast, arugula noodlings just miss the target. His boss, restaurateur Keith McNally, can’t win them all." [Bloomberg]
Robert Sietsema is a fast fan of the Montreal-style smoked meat being served up at Brooklyn's Mile End: "Mile End's meat initially fell somewhere between pastrami and smoked meat in flavor. Lately, it has become more like Montreal smoked meat, but remains an animal unto itself. The brisket's best usage is in a simple sandwich...it's the perfect size for one person. At $8, it's also a steal, and I could eat one of these excellent offerings every day. Or maybe two." [VV]
Adam Platt calls Joey Campanaro's work at Kenmare "competent, somewhat rudimentary," giving it one star: "...appetizers include rolls of tuna carpaccio wrapped around dabs of avocado (quite good), overly gummy gnocchi sunk in a curiously dull short-rib ragù (not so good), and an asparagus 'gratin'...which tastes interesting enough but looks like it’s just emerged from the blender at home...The spare, eight-dish entrée list has a similarly perfunctory feel, but it contains more of the classic Campanaro flourishes." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Eric Asimov deems Tangled Vine Wine Bar on the Upper West Side "manna from heaven," Sarah DiGregorio enjoys the specialties of East Java at Bromo Satay House in Elmhurst, Sam Sifton declares that Bar Americain is still at the top of its game, Tables for Two is somehow not impressed by K! Pizzacone, Jay Cheshes thinks Zengo is all wrong, awarding it two out of five stars, and Gael Greene finds "mostly delicious Italianish food for New Yorkers" at the revamped Lugo Caffe.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives an A to Torrisi Italian Specialties, NY Journal is underwhelmed with Ma Peche, Immaculate Infatuation discovers that the food compliments the cocktails at Death & Co, Cleaned My Plate and Gael Greene both indulged in a Pearl Oyster Bar lobster roll, The Food Doc splurges on beef seven ways at Ma Peche, Law & Food has an excellent, bargain of a meal at Saul, Ulterior Epicure has overpriced but solid French fare at old timer La Grenouille, and Eatery Row enjoys East 5th Street classic Lavagna.