This week, Sam Sifton checks out old-timer steakhouse The Palm, and its sister restaurant right across the street, Palm Too. The flagship has been reviewed by the NYT many, many times over the years: it was originally awarded two stars in 1974 by John Canaday, then four stars in 1976 from Mimi Sheraton, then it was bumped down to three in 1983 (also Sheraton), reduced to one star in 1986 by Bryan Miller, and re-awarded a single star from Miller in 1992. And now, almost twenty years later, Sifton reaffirms its one star rating:
The food on both sides of the avenue is first-rate, at least if you stick to the original script of salad and tangy, prime-rated beef, or salad and huge, perfectly acceptable lobster, along with potatoes and greens.There are calorie counts on the menu (it's a chain after all), the wine list is nothing special, there are some weak entrees, but ultimately the reason to go here according to Sifton, are the steakhouse classics: "Cut into your buttery meat, your buttery potatoes, your creamy greens. These are prepared with real skill and care, and taste it." He concludes: "Palm may be a chain restaurant. But not on Second Avenue, no matter where you sit."
Andrew Carmellini's the Dutch is a little too hipsterish for Adam Platt, but he manages to dole out two stars anyway: "The big-ticket, gut-busting dish to have at the Dutch is the beautifully charred eighteen-ounce New York strip steak (with a tangle of the excellent house fries), and if you’re in the mood for something marginally lighter, Mrs. Platt commends the duck...or the ravioli..." He also awards one star to The Leopard at des Artistes, a prime spot for "old-fashioned A-list celebrity spotting" which is "worthwhile, provided you’re willing to put up with the prices," and "fairly rudimentary Southern Italian grub." [NYM]
Ryan Sutton finds a lot to like in the food, if not the plating or the pricing, at David Bouley's Brushstroke: "This is the success that Bouley needed at 30 Hudson, the address that begat his (failed) Secession and (triumphant) Danube restaurants...The best seats are at the long sushi bar, where you’ll pay $85 for 8 courses or $135 for 10." He awards it three stars. [Bloomberg]
Jay Cheshes also reviews Brushstroke, awarding it four stars out of five: "The restaurant, a collaboration with Osaka’s Tsuji Cooking Academy, brings kaiseki cuisine—the intricate, formal multicourse meals at the pinnacle of haute Japanese cooking—into a surprisingly relaxed and accessible setting. Bouley puts the remarkable cuisine of young chef Isao Yamada at the fore here, and hasn’t muddied the waters by getting too hands-on with the place." [TONY]
THE ELSESHWERE: Julia Moskin files and under on Legend Bar and Restaurant, Tables for Two is charmed by The Smile, Steve Cuozzo likes the food and not much else at Marble Lane in the Dream Downtown Hotel, Robert Sietsema ventures out to Jackson Heights to try Nepalese restaurants Bhim's Café and Lali Guras, Lauren Shockey samples the goods at new Filipino restaurant Sa Aming Nayon, and Gael Greene likes the food and is impressed by the scene and the fashions on display at Miss Lily's.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats awards a B to Il Matto re-do White & Church, Feisty Foodie visits the new Neely's Barbecue Parlor, Immaculate Infatuation has some amazing pizzas at Roberta's, NY Journal isn't blown away by Casa Nona, Plate of the Day digs the hipster Mexican food at La Superior, Goodies First thinks Sa Aming Nayon is worth a visit, Skinny Pig samples the Restaurant Week menu at The Hurricane Club, and Eating Big Apple has an overall great meal at Aldea.
[Photo: Evan Sung for The NYT]