Three and a half years after Peter Meehan's $25 and Under, and four months after Food & Wine awarded its chef Carlo Mirarchi a Best New Chef award, Sam Sifton gets on the Roberta's program and awards the Bushwick restaurant two stars, calling it "one of the more extraordinary restaurants in the United States." There is mention of tattoos, of skinny jeans, of "gastronauts" and "painterly pasta" and "urban detritus." And of very serious food:
Roberta’s may appear an unlikely cathedral to such culinary excellence. It is no less a cathedral for that...Mr. Mirarchi’s is a kitchen poetry that is much, much more difficult to create than it seems. His food often looks austere. Its flavors just as often explode in your mouth.And of the restaurant's very hard to come by tasting menu, offered to about eight people a week, Sifton can only rave: "For eight people a week, Roberta’s is a three-star restaurant, no matter the paper napkins or hard wooden seats." [NYT]
Robert Sietsema likes the food but not much else at Pichet Ong's Thai eatery Qi: "Though the food can be excellent, the service tends toward the awful. On my first visit, runners from the kitchen kept bringing new dishes to our unbused table like the scary brooms bearing buckets in Fantasia, piling fresh plates on top of dirty ones, threatening an avalanche. I'm not kidding." [VV]
Tables for Two likens Imperial No. 9 to "a cross between a JetBlue terminal and an expensive gym, catering to a transient crowd carrying wheelie suitcases and tiny Louis Vuitton handbags and shouting over very loud dance music" and notes of the food, "these small delights don’t add up to a satisfying meal, and the eclectic “global” flavors don’t work as well with the main event, the seafood, which often winds up overpowered." [New Yorker]
Jay Cheshes is wowed by the grill-centric menu at the reinvented St. Anselm in Williamsburg: "The well-rounded menu, heavy on veggies, combines Mediterranean, Asian and all-American flavors—the cooking method ties it all together...It’s all smart and sophisticated but soulful, too." [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Gael Greene has some hits and misses at Fulton on the Upper East Side and Southfork Kitchen out in the Hamptons, Betsy Andrews files an Under on Williamsburg's Mabel's Smokehouse and Long Island City's John Brown's Smokehouse, and Lauren Shockey mostly enjoys the food but loves the cocktails at East Village spot The Beagle.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives a B to Sa Aming Nayon, a new Filipino place in the East Village, Law & Food is impressed by French-Vietnamese spot Rouge et Blanc, NY Journal calls out Tocqueville as a lovely though pricey restaurant for a very nice meal out, Eat Big Apple loved the oysters and the cocktails at Maison Premiere and has some important advice for those trying new tiramisu spot Dolce Vizio, Immaculate Infatuation, no surprise, gets down with Rockaway Taco, and the Food Doc says farewell to M. Wells with an Asian-themed meal.