Sam Sifton reports that the food lovers in Manhattan's first suburb, Brooklyn Heights, no longer have to leave the neighborhood to find farm-to-table dining in a place that looks like Frankies. They can go to Colonie, which he awards one star. The service is hit or miss, they don't take reservations for smaller parties, and many of the entrees disappoint, but how about those starters!
Alex Sorenson, the chef, who was at Mas (Farmhouse), serves a familiar menu of eggs and mushrooms and pork belly and scallops and beets. But his cooking does not seem overexposed or needlessly trendy. There is brightness to it, a clever happiness that comes through on the plate.And yet, "Colonie is a good restaurant. But absent the bosses the service can take on a mediocre, almost perfunctory feel." [NYT]
Oysters served with a cucumber mignonette start his menu, along with a variety of what amount to bar snacks, slices of coppa or bresaola, for instance, with crusty bread. A tight list of small plates and large ones follows, along with some vegetables and salads: a grid of options that amount to a dozen or so choices.
Tables for Two files on Long Island City sensation M. Wells: "With a menu this adventurous, there are bound to be missteps. The main thing is that on what might be the city’s least picturesque block there is an old-fashioned diner nonchalantly serving up outrageously ambitious offerings, such as pickled pork tongue, smoky and craveable as the best carnitas, alongside perfectly executed classics, like a biscuit so crumbly and buttery it might as well be a scone." [New Yorker]
Ryan Sutton is won over by the comfort food meets fast food meets locavore ethos at the newly opened Brooklyn Star: "Such a cavalier beach-chair state of affairs might be too laid back for some, but quirky touches like these elevate the Star from a neighborhood joint to an original worth the cab fare from Manhattan." [Bloomberg]
Jay Cheshes is looking for more in the retro revival of the Astor Room in Queens: "But while New York diners are suckers for a time warp, the restaurant’s manufactured nostalgia never quite transports. Unlike more successful retro haunts—Minetta Tavern, say, or even the Monkey Bar—the Astor Room stops short of channeling a bygone age." [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Julia Moskin figures Jones Wood Foundry on the Upper East Side may convince New Yorkers to take real British food seriously, and she is utterly charmed by Jody Williams' newest spot Buvette, Metromix is disappointed in La Superior's Williamsburg spinoff Cantina Royale, Robert Sietsema finds some exceptional Ghanian restaurants in the Bronx, Steve Cuozzo is a fan of two newcomers, downtown's David Burke Kitchen and uptown's Ditch Plains UWS, and Lauren Shockey has a rave for Midtown surprise Tenpenny.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives Cuban diner Coppelia a B+/A-, Immaculate Infatuation claims you won’t find a wine bar in this city with a better vibe than at Terroir, Law & Food was pleasantly surprised by Corton, NYC Foodie loves The Dutch, The Food Doc was disappointed with the timing at LTO, Eat Big Apple loves Brushstroke, Immaculate Infatuation also reports on Monument Lane, which they feel is just fine, and The Pink Pig dines at La Silhouette and thinks the food is pretty good but the service tries too hard.