This week Sam Sifton drops a deuce on Andrew Carmellini's new Soho restaurant The Dutch. He says it all with the lede: "So here is where you want to be right now, all of you who care about good food and the theater of eating it: sitting in a booth in the back of the Dutch, alternating bites of red shrimp and fried green tomatoes with hits of dry Vouvray." Some more on the food:
Now try umami-rich, miso-bathed asparagus with big hunks of bacon and a poached egg and think how good a word “unctuous” is when you are eating it. Rip through little sandwiches of fried soft-shell crab with a sauce that would lead Alice Waters into McDonald’s if it served it.And a little more on the scene: "You may recognize people from television, from magazines, from Web sites and banks and funds and firms and other restaurants: the whole Gen X-Y food-crazy elite assembled to eat oysters and drink Cutty and absinthe and toast Andrew Carmellini..." [NYT]
Mr. Carmellini’s rabbit potpie, the size and shape of a football, holds amazing richness beneath its Christopher Wren-like dome: butter, rabbit and divinity in equal measure. And that steak is a celebration worth reserving for: a honking big rib-eye for two that holds its own with the best New York chophouses, even with its fancy-Dan accompaniment of a slick green salad.
Jay Cheshes also visits The Dutch and offers it four stars: "The Dutch is the kind of place where you can confidently pair cool matchstick asparagus tossed in Thai basil, peanuts and fish sauce with an all-American rabbit potpie steaming under a showstopping dome of crackerlike crust. That all of it tastes good—and, somehow, works well together—explains why even 10pm reservations remain so hard to come by (walk-ins are encouraged)." [TONY]
Ryan Sutton likes Boulud Sud for its quiet atmosphere, its excellent meats, but finds a couple of flaws: "Boulud Sud is a lovely restaurant, but this Lyonnaise chef needs to make the flavors of the Mediterranean sing out and pop as they should. Sea urchin, typically the musty, jiggly pot-de-creme of the sea, is for beginners here, its clean flavors overwhelmed by crab and a Triscuit of sorts. Soupe de poisson is geared to the entry-level eater too." [Bloomberg]
Steve Cuozzo lists a slew of caveats to a meal at David Bouley's new Brushstroke—including the price, the service, some failed dishes—but ultimately awards it three stars: "Yamada coaxes extraordinary effects and heart-stopping flavor chords from ordinary-sounding ingredients — among them, seaweed, mustard and dashi, the bonito-flavored stock so elemental in Japanese cooking." [NYP]
Adam Platt awards three stars to Daniel Boulud's new Mediterranean restaurant Boulud Sud: "The daurade I ordered one evening (seared, with grainy, fresh-made romesco sauce) wouldn’t have been out of place in one of the grand coastal restaurants around Barcelona, and if you want to fantasize for a second or two that you’re dining farther north, in Cannes, say, or along the Amalfi Coast, I suggest the saffron linguini tossed with fava beans, bottarga, and chewy bits of razor clam..." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Tables for Two loves the pizza and the rest at Roberta's in Bushwick, Oliver Strand samples the good eats at Saturday food fair Smorgasburg, Robert Sietsema tries the varied starches at new Chelsea Sri Lankan restaurant Banana Leaf, Lauren Shockey reports that Andrew Carmellini's food at The Dutch deserves the fanfare, and Gael Greene finds sloppy food and small (but cheap) portions at Cantina by Cascabel.
THE BLOGS: The Food Doc checks out brunch at The Brooklyn Star, Eating in Translation tells you what to order at Smorgasburg's Bon Chovie, NYC Foodie has some wonderful pie at new Williamsburg pizzeria Forcella, The Hungry Roach has an incredible leisurely three hour dinner at ABC Kitchen, Serious Eats awards a B to Shanghai Cafe Deluxe in Chinatown, and Immaculate Infatuation pens a rave for Maison Premiere an old timey oyster/cocktail bar that is right up their alley.