For his very first review as New York Times critic, former dining section editor Pete Wells awards two stars to Wong, chef Simpson Wong's new Asian fusion restaurant. Wells is familiar with the food at Wong's other restaurant Cafe Asean, and at his failed projects Jefferson and Jefferson Grill, and here he finds that the chef is doing some of the best cooking of his career:
At Wong, he has kept his freewheeling palate and his nuanced instincts for building contrasts, but the starting point tends to be Asia, which means that his cooking at Wong, at its strongest, resembles nothing else in town.Wells remarks that the dining room is "half Williamsburg, half Salvation Army," and pokes some fun at the names and cuisine descriptions at other modern Asian restaurants like Kin Shop and Red Farm.
And so the era of Pete Wells as NYT critic begins with a warm two-star review of a somewhat quiet new restaurant. Expect assessments of heavy-hitters like Romera and Le Bernardin sometime in the next month or so.
· Asian Fusion, the Latest Chapter [NYT]
· All Coverage of Pete Wells [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Wong [~ENY~]