Pete Wells loves the polenta dishes, the vegetables, and many of the pastas at L'Apicio in the East Village, but the entrees are occasionally lacking, and the space sometimes feels like "a trattoria airlifted into a nightclub." The critic writes:
I was reasonably content with grilled lamb chops on bones the length of hunting knives, but wild about their partner, roasted potatoes in a fresh green mint pesto. And while I wished the expertly seared bistecca tagliata had arrived a few degrees warmer, I had no regrets about the steak fries, big planks of potato with a red-and-black pepper dusting that everyone at the table felt compelled to sample, over and over.The hits mostly cancel out the misses at L'Apicio. Overall, Wells thinks the restaurant is worthy of one star. [NYT]
Vegetables, though, can't do it all. Even sweet potatoes with crisp skins that I'd like to see every Thanksgiving from now on could not improve a too-lean and somewhat too-well-done pork chop.
Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton offers a list of his favorite new restaurants. Mission Chinese Food and Empellon Cocina tie for first place. On the former: "Like the San Francisco flagship, Danny Bowien's Manhattan outpost isn't just about excellent plates of 'Americanized Oriental food.' Diners pump free beer from a keg while waiting to be seated. Most of the (incendiary) dishes are $16 or under. And 75 cents of every entree goes to the Food Bank for New York. Mission inflames your insides while warming your soul." [Bloomberg]
Tejal Rao visits Filipino gastropub Jeepney in the East Village: "The oddly named 'defeated' chicken ($18) is a little dry in an anise and black bean sauce, served with an almost-candied pig's foot and slow-poached egg. It tempers out nicely with the vinegar dip, bright with sliced red and green chiles. Jeepney's arroz caldo ($6) is lovely, tasting of golden-fried garlic, but with the texture of silky grits." [VV]
Stan Sagner awards four stars (out of five) to Gran Eelctrica in Dumbo: "Tostada Jaiba ($13) is a superbly crisp corn discus topped with a mound of fresh peekytoe crab, ribbons of ripe avocado and brightened with a deft flash of lime and jalapeño. Shattering at first bite, it quickly turns to a joyful mess, leaving you to sound like Homer Simpson as you chomp through. A daintier appetizer, perhaps, but no less appealing, is Rajas de Invierno ($8). A soft taco brimming with smoky, roasted poblanos, sweet squash and a gentle crunch of almond, this is a persuasive argument for vegetarianism." [NYDN]
Steve Cuozzo encounters some hits and misses at Bill's in Midtown. He likes the steaks and the pastas, but the seafood dishes are a let-down: "Oozy sea urchin must have drifted into a messy seafood/shellfish salad ($15) by mistake. 'Jumbo' prawns ($18) flopped even by shrimp cocktail standards. Upright aligned, near frozen crudités ($16)—carrots, turnips, beets and cucumbers— conveyed not the garden, but only the ice onwhich they stood." [NYP]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan recommends ordering the Malaysian dishes at Singapura, Robert Sietsema checks out the brick and mortar location of BriksetTown, Leo Carey of Tables for Two likes many of the hot plates at Ootoya, and Gael Greene runs down her "dining highs" of 2012.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives an A minus to L'Apicio, Eat Big Apple thinks that Hunter's is a solid neighborhood restaurants, NYC Foodie is blown away by La Vara, the Immaculate Infatuation boys love the food at Chez Sardine, the Pink Pig gives a big thumbs up to Daniel Delaney's brisket at BrisketTown, Chekmark Eats finds that Tribeca Canvas still has a few kinks to work out, and NY Journal writes that dinner at Aska is a great value (for now).
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]