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Pete Wells Drops a Disappointing One Star on Romera

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Krieger

This week Pete Wells weighs in on the most ambitious, expensive, and some would say ill-advised opening of the fall season, Romera. And he awards it a disappointing one star. He doesn't hate the strange basement dining room. He doesn't hate the food. But he also doesn't love the pretension of the place and notes that at the end of the day, Romera is "a restaurant that wants to be admired, not enjoyed":

If you give yourself over to the experience, a meal at Romera can refresh your perspective on what’s in front of you, one of the gifts of art. Yet as much as you might admire Dr. Romera, you can’t help feeling that you will never be able to admire him quite as much as you’re supposed to.

...to eat at Romera New York is to be told repeatedly that you are in the presence of greatness, while the evidence of your senses tells you that you are in the presence of, at best, okayness.

Okayness at $245 a head (plus wine, tax, and tip).

Steve Cuozzo likes that they're putting taste before nostalgia at Kutsher's in Tribeca: "Generous portions of smartly realized favorites...have just enough 'Jewish' inflection. Matzo ball soup might be the best in town, the broth rich and textured, carrots and celery tasting like themselves and flat noodles lending a tactile foil to pillowy dumplings." [NYP]

Lauren Shockey loves the lunch at Parm: "Although such heftier plates—like Tuesday's meaty aged chopped steak or Friday's zuppa di pesce (fish stew)—are certainly respectable offerings, Parm is at its finest come lunch. The sammys and snacks shine, and the cramped quarters—mostly two-tops plus a long counter with ruby-hued backless stools—discourage leisurely group dining." [FitR]

Jay Cheshes is also won over by the Torrisi boys' Parm: "...while the menu reads as well-worn as the space, the food is new and exciting, prepared by grease-spattered cooks in white paper caps who happen to have high-end restaurant résumés...As at Torrisi, the co-owner chefs offer dramatic improvements on the food they grew up on, without sacrificing the integrity of the original dishes." [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Betsy Andrews feasts on clams and other aquatic delights at Littleneck and Sea Witch in Brooklyn, Robert Sietsema learns that Land of Plenty is serving upscale Sichuan specialties in the old Mia Dona space, Gael Greene finds some standout dishes at Prima in the East Village but doesn't deem it worth the trip from the Upper West Side, Adeena Sussman of Manhattan awards three stars to The Breslin, and Tables for Two encounters berserk but mostly delicious food at Bed-Stuy's Do or Dine.

THE BLOGS: Serious Eats checks out every weeknight special at Parm, Immaculate Infatuation advises Midtowners not to write off pizza joint PizzaArte, NY Journal is somewhat disappointed in Alex Stratta's big New York debut Bigoli, The Pink Pig examines the ceviche at La Mar Cebicheria, Eating in Translation checks out the dumplings at Koreatown's Arirang, and Chekmark Eats dines at the newly rebranded Bin on Bleecker.

Parm

248 Mulberry Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (212) 993-7189 Visit Website

Romera

355 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 (212) 254-0350 Visit Website

The Breslin

16 West 29th Street, Manhattan, NY 10001 (212) 679-1939 Visit Website

Prima

7280 Woodmont Avenue, , MD 20814 (301) 215-8300 Visit Website

Do or Dine

1108 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11216

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