The Siftonator files on Nuela this week, the huge, very red, loud and sceney pan-Latin restaurant in the Flatiron District. He gives it one star and contends that if one tries very hard—orders the right thing, jives with the music, ignores the crowd—a very nice time can be had. Otherwise it's misery with foods that's "avoidable" or "like something off a bus-station floor":
Mr. Schop has talent, though he would do well to pare down the rambling menu, which takes inspiration from national cuisines throughout Latin and South America and runs to more than 50 dishes. He cooks with brash confidence, offering big flavors in close proximity to extremely delicate ones. When this works, all are grateful. Other dishes should be struck from the books.Still, go for the arroz con pato, the rib eye, the Peruvian chicken, the anticuchos. [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo is blown away by Nougatine, a Jean-Georges restaurant that he has ignored for 13 years: "...day and night, we were reduced to stammering awe by treasures from the Union Square Greenmarket, where Nougatine buys in bulk from May through October. So do many places (or so they say), but they don’t always know what to do with the stuff. They should send their cooks to Nougatine for lessons." [NYP]
Ryan Sutton files on the sundry wonders at Eataly, from the shopping to the ambiance, to the food at the various restaurants: "Ever go to a restaurant and think you could make it faster at home? Eataly provides the raw ingredients to follow through on that threat." [Bloomberg]
Jay Cheshes gives four stars to the special Japanese menu served in the Bouley Studio on Thursday and Friday nights: "Yamada...is finally cooking the food that brought him here...Yamada and his team have achieved something great—a stealth bargain, and an under-the-radar glimpse of the next Bouley hit in the making." [TONY]
Adam Platt files a twofer on quirky Tribeca restaurants Terroir and Il Matto. He gives one star to the former: "This food isn’t designed to be transcendent, but if you choose wisely, it’s possible to put together a decent meal." And zero stars to the latter: "the real chaos at Il Matto takes place on the plate." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Betsy Andrews deems Murray Hill's Ay Kitchen a respectable restaurant for Turkish cuisine, Ligaya Mishan realizes pizzas aren't the only thing to love at Park Slope newcomer Campo d Fiori, Sarah DiGregorio finds some decent but not mindblowing "street" food at Hawkers and Bai Cha, Gael Greene goes mad for a lunch at Jean Georges, and Robert Sietsema discovers a comprehensive take on Yemeni cuisine at Bab al Yemen.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives a B- to Traif in Williamsburg, The Food Doc has a wonderfully seasonal meal at Park Avenue Autumn, Law & Food follows up a lackluster meal at Artisanal with a wonderful one at Maialino, Writing with my Mouth Full finds exciting non-Asian vegetarian fare at Counter in the East Village, Immaculate Infatuation declares Hide Chan Ramen a solid addition to Midtown eating, The Pink Pig, as expected, is not won over by The Meatball Shop, and NY Journal finds a few hits on the menu at the new Stuzzicheria.