Today, The Siftonator awards two stars to the re-launch of Anita Lo's West Village restaurant Annisa, noting the food there is some of the best work of her career. The wine list is a letdown, as are the desserts, but overall the cooking here is excellent—well executed, not flashy—the dining room, serene:
A plate of delicate, pinkish veal tenderloin with artichokes showed this plainly, dressed up not simply with pillowy, crisp-edged sweetbreads but also with oysters and a sauce of black truffles. There was sweetness to it as well as hints of brine, and a funky earthiness to counter both textures, soft and rough...Annisa may not be boisterous, fun, and exciting but it "remains a destination for grown-up and serious restaurant-goers, both for its cooking and the experience of eating it." [NYT]
...fluke with caviar and beets brought the same happy laughter you hear drifting out of car windows at beach-town sunsets: the salty pop of the fish eggs set softly against the sweet, fresh flesh of the fish, with a snap of beet sugar to tie it all together.
Meanwhile, Jay Cheshes is completely blown away by Annisa: "While her colleagues, in collective retrenchment, all appear to be stuck in the same comfort-food rut, Lo takes a singular stand for old-fashioned refinement...Lo’s food, complex and audacious, is unlike any other you’ll find in New York." [TONY]
Alan Richman notes the food isn't all terrible at Print, but the menus have to go: "The real problem at Print is those menus. They're just plain dumb. I don't believe I've ever seen a restaurant so determined to pursue mediocrity...Rodriguez shows promise, but the menus are badly in need of coherence, to say nothing of editing." [GQ]
Ryan Sutton gets gustatory ennui at Kenmare: "Kenmare’s otherwise savvy brain trust -- Paul Sevigny of the erstwhile Beatrice Inn, Nur Khan of Rose Bar -- have given New York a fair, forgettable restaurant, another mess hall-cum- social club (see also: Waverly Inn, Monkey Bar, The Lion)." [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Sietsema says it's impossible not to adore new Williamsburg bar and resto Commodore, Dave Cook finds some revelatory sandwiches at Dickson's Farmstead Meats, Pete Wells is surprised by the quality of the drinks at tiki bar Painkiller, Tables for Two is not impressed with Faustina, The Cuozz files on the alfresco dining at The Boathouse and The New Leaf, and Gael Greene finds some huge hits at Todd English's Plaza Food Hall.
THE BLOGS: BoozyNYC calls Williamsburg'sThe Counting Room one of the best new bars this year, NY Journal thinks Torrisi Italian Specialties is fine but not worth Sifton's two stars, Serious Eats gives an A to the dumplings and a B to everything else at Canteen 82, Goodies First does some serious snacking at Prospect Heights' The Vanderbilt, Immaculate Infatuation has some killer tacos at hole in the wall Hells Kitchen spot Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery, Law and Food has an epic kaiseki meal at Kyo Ya, and The Food Doc finds a lot to love at Traif.