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One Star for Everything but the Pie at Fornino Park Slope

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Horine, 5/2/10

Sam Sifton heads to Park Slope this week to award one star to the new branch of Fornino, a pizza place, trattoria, and "a fine addition to the borough’s now-sprawling call-for-reservations dining scene." Salads are skippable, as are the grilled meats and even the restaurant's signature grilled pie, but go for a spread of antipasti, some pastas, the fish:

He isn’t simply a pizza man and never has been. His cod wrapped in prosciutto, served with capers, olives and a scattering of sweet cherry tomatoes, showcases real talent in the preparation of fish, and a nicely cooked duck breast with cherries, spinach, pine nuts and a glaze of white balsamic vinegar shows a sure hand with game as well.
In sum, it's good for the neighborhood and only the neighborhood: "Fornino Park Slope is a throwback, the sort of restaurant that will appeal mostly to those who still think of Manhattan as 'the city,' and who rarely cross a river to get to work. Fuggedaboutit, et cetera. It is a restaurant fit for Kings." [NYT]

Ryan Sutton is not pleased with the concessions—even for the VIPs—at the new Meadowlands stadium: "The pizza’s free but so bad I almost yearned for a Domino’s slice. Miserable Manhattans, poured into a plastic cup with neither shaking nor stirring still help you forget about the turnpike-quality concessions and pricing on par with tuition at New York University." [Bloomberg]

Steve Cuozzo is unimpressed by 'Nueva Latina' newcomer Nuela, doling out just one star: "It flaunts big-league ambition in a year of sandlot-league burger joints. Its staffers work their hearts out. But Nuela is shrill on eyes, ears and palate. It takes you down the treacherous “small plates” road that wears you out trying to make sense of 54 dishes in 11 categories." [NYP]

Meanwhile, TONYs Jay Cheshes tries Nuela and is blown away, offering four out of five stars: "Roasted suckling pig, another large-format feast, served with fluffy white rice and flaky scallion pancakes, is Nuela’s one can’t-miss dish...More modest dishes for one...are just as expertly rendered...Nuela’s showcase ceviche bar, meanwhile, is a destination in its own right." [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan finds some good heat at Thai restaurant Ayada out in Elmhurst, Queens, Gael Greene samples all of the eats in Eataly and files a thorough report, Robert Sietsema uncovers another impressive Qingdao restaurant in Queens, Lu Xiang Yuan, Sarah DiGregorio deems Thistle Hill Tavern a lovely neighborhood spot for the people of South Slope, and the Robs give three Underground Gourmet stars to Salume, the sandwich shop in Soho.

THE BLOGS: Immaculate Infatuation finds The Red Cat to be a reliable neighborhood spot and highlights their blackboard pork specials, A Tiger In The Kitchen takes advantage of staying in the city for Labor Day by visiting the usually packed Hotel Delmano, Serious Eats gives a solid B to the bar food at Honeychiles', KikaEats has a run down of good food-centric spots in Brighton Beach, and NY Journal visits Novita, has a palatable eggplant parmigiana and ultimately disagrees with Sifty's February two-star review.

Nuela

43 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10010 Visit Website

Eataly

200 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010 Visit Website

Fornino Park Slope

254 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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