In this week's review, Sam Sifton argues that sceney Jamaican spot Miss Lily's and booze-less 24-hour Cuban diner Coppelia are "making a run at the cool-kid crown" left by Florent when that iconic Chelsea restaurant closed in 2008. Maybe because one is cool and the other offers breakfast all day? Who knows? But Coppelia "is exactly right for the morning after, and perhaps for the next couple of meals after that" and earns one star for its "wickedly moist" roast pork, ropa vieja, and the lomo saltado.
However, Miss Lily's, which "is as arresting as a tower of giraffes," gets what is probably Sam Sifton's final goose egg. He loves the jerk chicken, the mackerel salad, the room, "But this is not enough to make up for pineapple-glazed pork ribs that emerge from the oven tasting of gristle and bone, the meat cooked into papery irrelevance, or a jerk pork burger with all the flavor of a pressed wet sawdust patty, and mango chutney that hardly improves on what you might find in a jar." Now that he's filed his last goose, let's see if he has another four spot in him. [NYT]
The Cuozz is charmed by buzzy Chinese newcomer Red Farm: "Everything about it is adorable, from a "farm-to-table" look to dumplings with sesame-seed "eyes" to Schoenfeld's P.T. Barnum-like pronouncements...Of course, neither "adorable" nor "buzzy" means "perfect." Some dishes drift closer to the Rio Grande than the Yangtze, while others are more ordinary than smarty-pants presentation suggests. But the menu works." [NYP]
Jay Cheshes writes that Seamus Mullen puts an idealized spin on classic Spanish fare at Tertulia: "It's the sort of easy taberna you might stumble upon during a road trip through northern Spain, somewhere between San Sebastián and Gijón, perhaps, thinking not much initially of its rustic food and interiors, only realizing later the impression they've left." [TONY]
Ryan Sutton raves over the affordable Korean fare at the small and casual Danji: "Danji is a much needed reprieve from Midtown's ubiquitous oil-doused Mediterranean restaurants...Kim takes a less smoky approach to barbecue than his neighbors in Koreatown, slow cooking short ribs till they fall apart with the tap of a chopstick." [Bloomberg]
In the Robs' glowing three star Underground Gourmet review for hot spot Miss Lily's, they weirdly mourn the loss of attitudes and tough doors at restaurants: "It wasn't so long ago, after all, that going to a scene restaurant was like entering a war zone...there was a certain perverse comfort in the routine, and in the whole masochistic ritual...It was a New York rite of passage—like getting mugged on the subway." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Julia Moskin files an Under on Tabata Ramen a new mostly good ramen shop in the shadow of the Port Authority, Gael Greene is happy to report that Lincoln is finally living up to expectations, Lauren Shockey writes that Nolitan Hotel restaurant Ellabess starts out strong but ends in disappointment, Tables for Two argues that the food at pan-Asian Legend Bar & Restaurant merits the terrible service and chaotic environment, and Robert Sietsema calls the Upper West Side's Osteria Cotta the perfect Italian bistro.
BLOGS: Smith and Ratliff tries all the delectable food offerings at ongoing food event Madison Square Eats, The Food Doc is extremely disappointed by Taverna Kyclades, Immaculate Infatuation calls Tenpenny a gem amidst the garbage in Midtown, and Eatery Row tests out the Tribeca Taco Truck.