Instead of a writing a review this week, Pete Wells offers a love letter of sorts to the restaurants of lower Manhattan in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. But Steve Cuozzo and several other big critics are still at it:
The Cuozz files on the new Upper East Side Location of Il Mulino: "I almost forgave paying $44 for swordfish, so juicy and generous was the cut, in vivid light tomato sauce complexioned with capers and olives. Sauce shamelessly red is a justified house pride wherever it pops up. But meat's another story. Executive chef Michele Mazza spends lots of time schmoozing up guests; better he spent it spanking the cooks." Cuozzo gives the restaurant one and a half stars. [NYP]
Jay Cheshes gives three stars (out of five) to Pig and Khao: "Run by former Top Chef contender Leah Cohen, the joint has a familiar setup, with plenty of canned beer, hot chilies and hip-hop. It's equal parts Fatty Crab, Talde and Pok Pok, courtesy of a pigcentric menu and a jungle-shack vibe featuring bamboo inside and a concrete garden out back. Pig and Khao's food, though, plays it right down the middle, neither particularly inventive nor anthropological as at those wildly popular restaurants." [TONY]
Daily News critic Stan Sagner awards three stars (out of five) to Perla: "Stunning emerald Brussels Sprouts ($14) were tempered by chanterelles and creamy parsnip puree. Every forkful was a joy. Conceptually, Fried Chicken Gizzards ($13), festooned with poached egg and peppered honey, should have been a stunner. Sadly, the presumably once crisp gizzards had criminally languished, forgotten just long enough to go sodden. What should have been a fantastic interplay of textures was delivered nearly DOA." [NYDN]
Tejal Rao encounters some hits and misses at Exchange Alley in the East Village: "Young okra are pickled before they're fried ($6), and though their crusts are thick, they're small and tender, shot through with just a thread of the snotty, vegetal mucilage that okra-haters love to hate. A fat, house-made blood sausage ($8) is a French-style pudding, pulled from its casing and deep fried. The filling of oat-thickened pig's blood turns wonderfully sweet and soft with a delicate crumb." [VV]
Adam Platt awards two stars to the new Upper East Side location of Salumeria Rosi: "My favorite pasta was the simple rigatoni con melanzane...which our waiter dished out around the table, one diner at a time, in grand uptown style. The soup component of the market-fish acquapazza had a wan, watery quality to it, so if you're in the mood for seafood, try the more robust cuscusso di mare, made with fresh shellfish jumbled in a small mountain of couscous." [NYM/GS]
THE ELSEWHERE: Robert Sietsema loves the fried chicken and catfish at Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter, Ligaya Mishan likes many of the traditional Mexican dishes at Gran Electrica, and Gael Greene heads to Virginia to try The Inn at Little Washington.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives an A minus to Bab al Yemen in Bay Ridge, Eat Big Apple has a great meal at Lotus Blue in Tribeca, the Immaculate Infatuation boys like the food and the friendly service at Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Goodies First visits Chao Thai Too and Zabb Elee, Chekmark Eats digs the brunch fare at Veselka Bowery, and New York Journal recommends the tapas at Barraca in the West Village.
· All Coverage of Reviews on Eater [~ENY~]