Sam Sifton awards two stars to The Leopard at des Artistes, the recent remake of the old Upper West Side veteran Cafe des Artistes. It's become an "airy and cheerful southern Italian clubhouse" for wealthy and powerful New Yorkers, and it serves some pretty decent Sardinian fare. He writes of a burrata special:
Lashed with olive oil that offsets the acidity of the fruit while underscoring the sweetness of the cheese, it is a dish that tastes not simply of summer, but of pleasant and pleasing affluence, of a tomatoland that exists somewhere far from the one described in Barry Estabrook’s important new book on the horrors of industrial tomato farming in Immokalee, Fla.He continues, "As for the listed main courses, which offer but one dish under $30 and four above $40, the best options are the simplest: lightly breaded swordfish with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano and parsley; or a thick-crusted grilled rib-eye for two...Il Gattopardo’s phenomenal meatloaf...is also available." [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo begrudgingly likes the well outfitted LES girl-magnet Beauty & Essex: "For all its good nature, Beauty & Essex has enough nuisances to spook those over 35 — like awful thumping “music” and over-booking that guarantees your reservation won’t be honored on time. So, how come many customers are way over 35? Maybe because chef/partner Chris Santos’ “global” menu is better than it reads." [NYP]
Jay Cheshes awards four out of five stars to Daniel Boulud's Boulud Sud: "With his executive chef, Aaron Chambers (Café Boulud), he casts a wide Mediterranean net—looking to Israel and Egypt, Turkey and Greece. But the restaurant’s cooking also plays to his strengths; it’s polished and elegant, and still fundamentally French." [TONY]
Lauren Shockey goes uptown to sample the Czech fare at UES newcomer Hospoda: "Skip over the slightly less impressive chef's selections for the decidedly tastier Czech dishes. Supple and fork-tender poached-beef flatiron steak comes covered in a cream sauce flecked with dill oil, creamy potatoes guarding alongside. Cabbage and dumplings accompany a succulent marbled pork belly. And a swoosh of split-yellow-pea purée (made with white beans at a subsequent meal) meets its match, surprisingly a slab of smoked tongue." [VV]
THE ELSEWHERE: Julia Moskin finds a lot to like at neighborhood spot Monument Lane, Steven Stern likens The Lot on Tap to a low-rent carnival, Gael Greene is pleasantly surprised at the ambitious food they're serving up at the gloomy basement restaurant Bread & Tulips, Robert Sietsema calls Boulud Sud "summer cooking par excellence," and Tables for Two reports that Empire Diner replacement The Highliner serves bad food to High Line tourists.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives a C to Neely's Barbcue Parlor, Immaculate Infatuation finds it's hard to walk away disappointed with the quasi hidden restaurant Hudson Clearwater, Eat Big Apple admits that DohYo at the Yotel is bizarre but it also serves excellent food, the Pink Pig offers some highlights from a media tasting at Bar Basque, Kika Eats tries some pricey ham at Pata Negra, NY Journal finds a lot to like at new West Village spot Left Bank but thinks the kitchen needs to up its game, and The Hungry Roach deems Red Rooster worth the trip.