This week, Sam Sifton awards one star to 456, a restaurant that while "dropped-ceiling bland" and filled with tourists, is restoring health to Manhattan's Chinatown. Get the soup dumplings, the vegetables, the Steak Chinese style, and skip the General Tsos:
So it is a dumpling heaven. The restaurant’s cold sesame noodles are not slouchy, though, with a nice kick above their silkiness. Combine these with a scallion pancake with beef and some turnip pastry pies to make a fine dim-summish late-morning meal, Shanghai style. Just add soup: the sweet and delicate chicken and corn potage is chief among them, chunky and soft.He says, of the restaurant which lived in the 70's, died, and was brought back to life by a grandson: "The restaurant is both the simplest and most marvelous of discoveries in a city that undergoes constant change: a Chinatown restaurant of the old school and new generation, a taste of the past and present combined." [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo can't help but like The Dutch, awarding it two and a half stars: "Places that flaunt a gleeful demolition of culinary boundaries usually make me gag. But The Dutch is about fun food done seriously by a chef at the top of his game. Not since Balthazar opened has there been so good a reason to fight for a table in SoHo." [NYP]
No surprise, Ryan Sutton is none too impressed with Kosher steakhouse Prime Grill and Le Marais: "Barbecued short ribs, at $48, are ruined by a saccharine sauce no better than a $2 bottle of KC Masterpiece. Salmon sashimi is cold and mushy, lacking the fish’s unctuousness. Smoked salmon boasts enough sodium to conduct electricity." [Bloomberg]
Lauren Shockey endures some hits, some misses, and bad service at new Chelsea Spanish spot Salinas: "The food at Salinas might be decent enough overall—provided you order correctly—to warrant a repeat visit. Unfortunately, the service will keep me from ever going back." [VV]
THE ELSEWHERE: Jane Black finds it easy to forgive the missteps at Greenpoint newcomer Nights and Weekends, Betsy Andrews and all the office workers in the area love Bi Lokma, a new Turkish spot in east Midtown, Gael Greene finds a lot to like at the newly opened Red Farm, and Robert Sietsema discovers some killer Uzbek food out in Bensonhurst at Cupola Samarkanda II,
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives an A to Epicerie Boulud, The Food Doc has a fine time exploring the food of Veracruz at Empellon's tasting dinner, NY Journal learns that Mary Queen of Scots has some charms, A Tiger in the Kitchen reports that Jake's Wayback Burgers has nothing on Five Guys, the Pink Pig finds Salinas overpriced and disappointing and El Cid cheap and enjoyable, and Immaculate Infatuation thinks the food at Freemans is still pretty damn good.
[Photo via New York Times]