Today, Sam Sifton files a one star review on Lyon, a two month-old bouchon in the old Cafe Bruxelles space on Greenwich Ave. He seems to love it in spite of the food. The onion soup, the charcuterie, the salads are fine, great even, but the entrees suffer as do the escargot, the tripe, the quenelles de brochet. And yet:
It is a marvelous place to eat. The tables are set with red-checked napkins, the waiters and waitresses dressed to match. Each one is better looking than the last, worse at English, charming for that. They serve Beaujolais quickly, with gruff friendliness in tough little glasses, cold as a child’s morning cup of milk.He reiterates, "Restaurants are central to the process by which nature becomes a form of culture. At their best they are where we go to experience, and celebrate, the transformation. Lyon is not that, not yet. But it is so pretty, and the staff is so winning, and the kitchen skilled enough that it is hard not to root for its success." [NYT]
The restaurant is warm and welcoming, already more a neighborhood draw than a publicist’s undertaking...But there need to be a few more things on the menu you’d want to eat again and again, more you’d return for with glee.
Jay Cheshes awards three out of five stars to Noho noodle shop Hung Ry, but it's not the soups he's after: "noodle soups are just a small part of the story at Hung Ry—in fact, the chef’s composed starters are an even greater draw. Working in a wide-open kitchen, surrounded by industrial-chic tables and chairs, Hodgkins combines ingredients that seem at odds with each other into deft food mosaics." [TONY]
Steve Cuozzo is impressed with the look and the food at the far off Riverpark, awarding it two and half stars: "I don't know where they're coming from, but it's clear what they're coming for. Ortuzar has worked with Colicchio for years. He attempts no daring experiments, but most everything is nicely executed, and many dishes come with enough twists and riffs to make them new." [NYP]
Ryan Sutton visits Manhattan's two new Thai restaurants, Kin Shop and Lotus of Siam, loving the former more than the latter: "...he challenges diners with flavors that are both unadulterated and balanced. Imagine Mozart at the volume of Metallica. That’s Kin Shop." He calls Lotus "an overpriced takeout joint." [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Tables for Two enjoys experimenting with beef at Takashi, Pete Wells goes ga-ga over both the drinks and the bar snacks at Julie Reiner's Soho cocktail den Lani Kai, Oliver Strand seems to love Jeffrey's but recommends skipping the entrees, Robert Sietsema notes that Hudson Street's Lievito is much more than a pizzeria, and Lauren Shockey finds new Indian restaurant Junoon pretentious and boring, but is mostly impressed by the food.
THE BLOGS: Law & Food has more dessert than dinner at wd~50, The Pink Pig writes that Gentleman Farmer is a gem of a restaurant on Rivington, Serious Eats gives a B+ to Red Rooster, The Girl Who Ate Everything finds some excellent izakaya fare at Sake Bar Hagi in Times Square, Gotham Gal is blown away by Kin Shop, EateryRow discovers that East Village gem Immigrant is a lovely and cozy place for a cocktail, Immaculate Infatuation finds little to love at the East Village's new bistro Goat Town, and Life with Food and Drink tries the new wine bar in the Limelight Marketplace, Cana.