Several of the big critics took the week off, but Sifton's still at it. Today he files a rave of a two star review for Daniel Boulud's foray into Mediterranean cuisine, Boulud Sud. He says that Boulud has another hit on his hands, and notes that the real talent here is executive chef Aaron Chambers. On the food:
Here are sardines marinated in slick oil and pungent vinegar, with toasted pine nuts for texture and white raisins to bridge the sour and sweet. Iberico ham with grilled pan con tomate — a dish seemingly made of time and water and sun, happy pigs and spitting fires. Beautifully charred squid with bits of chorizo and a tumble of Swiss chard, with tapenade for salt. Spiced duck wrapped in pastry, with date chutney: soft and rich.Only the veal Milanese and vitello tonnato miss the mark, but everything else is spot on: "Boulud Sud is the Manhattan equivalent of a private yacht anchored off Monaco, serving the food of Sardinia, Greece, Tunisia, Gibraltar, Beirut. And you are invited along." [NYT]
Robert Sietsema heads to Flushing to sample the goods at the gargantuan New World Mall Food Court: "Tianjin Foods slung the starchy provender of that autonomous Europeanized port east of Beijing, including excellent fried pork dumplings ($5.50 for ten) and a pumpkin pancake too small and greasy. At Lanzhou Handmade, the hand-pulled noodles served in soups were some of the best in town." [VV]
Instead of a review this week, Bloomberg critic Ryan Sutton offers his list of the 22 best restaurants for business meals, both on the cheap, and with expense account money to burn. The list, which is in alphabetical order, includes Le Bernardin, Torrisi Italian Specialties, Beauty & Essex, and even Per Se. [Bloomberg]
THE ELSEWHERE: Dave Cook finds some great noodle dishes at new Henan restaurant Uncle Zhou, Tables for Two likes the wine and not much else at The Castello Plan in Ditmas Park, Gael Greene encounters some hits and misses (and inconsistent service) at Nick & Toni's on the UWS.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats awards a B to oddball Bed-Stuy restaurant Do or Dine, Immaculate Infatuation likes the straightforward bistro fare more than the unlimited brunch punch at Paradou, The Pink Pig finds some problematic dishes at the re-do of St. Anselm, NY Journal awards one star to Elsewhere in Hell's Kitchen, Boozy NYC finds some great dishes and a terrific wine list at Czech newcomer Hospoda, KikaEats has a fantastic dim sum meal at Nom Wah Tea Parlor, and A Hamburger Today samples a solid restaurant burger at James in Prospect Heights.