Pete Wells files an encouraging one star review of Hell's Kitchen French restaurant La Silhouette. The critic approves of what La Grenouille vet Matthew Tropeano is doing in the kitchen:
His technique and orientation are still recognizably French. He does well by the old school, like the coral-colored and lobster-rich sauce Americaine that comes with butter-poached bass and lobster. For admirers of the saucier’s art, tasting it is like hearing a forgotten favorite record on the radio.Wells writes that the restaurant works hard to please its customers. He also admires the work that the architect did with the oddly-shaped space, noting, "If this is your destination, you feel a genuine sense of arrival." [NYT]
Every bit as classic, just as nicely handled, is ballotine stuffed with truffled forcemeat, the highlight of the roast chicken that La Silhouette has been serving lately. Yes, the skin on the breast could have been browned more thoroughly, but there’s no need to eat chicken skin when the plate also offers a foie gras sauce that is preposterously, appealingly rich.
Ryan Sutton is rocked by Torrisi Italian Specialties: "Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi have transformed this tiny Nolita restaurant from a casual spot into one of our city’s great restaurants, a gustatory love letter to New York’s ethnic neighborhoods, notably Chinatown, the Lower East Side and Little Italy. What was cramped now feels clubby, and the service is as refined as at any top restaurant." Sutton gives the restaurant three and a half stars, a near-perfect rating. [Bloomberg]
Steve Cuozzo gives two stars to Edwin Bellanco's Vitae: "Rock shrimp risotto had proper granular-creamy tension. Endearingly bite-size pulled-pork tacos filled with polenta tuille and tomato marmalade laughed at the bar-snack version. Bigeye tuna tartare pampered our tongues with its sensuous, warm consistency." [NYP]
The Robs award two UG stars each to St. Marks sandwich shop San Matteo Panuozzo and Village pita shop Taboonette. At San Matteo, they find pizza bread sandwiches that are "hefty and filling, although constructed in the minimalist Italian fashion, and served with an enthusiastic smile." At Taboonette, they like the shakshuka and pulled pork-stuffed pitas. [NYM]
New Village Voice critic Tejal Rao loves Michael Toscano's food at Perla: "His rustic Italian cooking is careful and refined, but you mustn't be: After you've eaten the three sweet blue prawns in brown butter and yogurt ($15), use your fingers to pick up their heads. Noisily suck out the juices, which taste like a campfire that burns by the sea." Do read the full review to learn about "eatin' pants." [VV]
Jay Cheshes is blown away by The Nomad: "Eleven Madison Park might be the best restaurant in New York right now, but the NoMad is certainly not far behind. If you suddenly came into a great deal of cash, you might think of it as the everyday version of its even more extravagant sibling (dinner here doesn’t come cheap). The food will haunt you, in the best possible way—the minute you leave, you’ll pine to come back." The critic gives the restaurant five out of five stars. [TONY]
Gael Greene samples the mezze at Beirut import Almayass: "Basterma, Armenian pastrami, is a new discovery: six slices topped with fried quail egg in an $11 portion. Even simple organic homemade labneh — yogurt thickened through straining, gleaming chartreuse from swathing with olive oil — is something to hoard, to dab on just about anything." [Insatiable Critic]
THE ELSEWHERE: Pete Wells declares that Frej in Williamsburg "represents one of the city’s great bargains in fine dining," Adeena Sussman of Manhattan is impressed with the scope of Alex Stupak's menu at Empellon Cocina, Julia Moskin likes the market-driven fare at 606 R & D, and Tables for Two discovers that Thirstbaràvin in Prospect Heights serves great French Food in a charming and somewhat chic space.
The BLOGS: Serious Eats gives a B to pricey Indian restaurant Junoon, the boys from Immaculate Infatuation dig pretty much everything at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, New York Journal has a decent meal at Almayass, The Feisty Foodie visits Jin Ramen, Chekmark Eats samples the goods at Madison Sq. Mark't, Eat Big Apple tries some very good noodles at Naruto Ramen, and Goodies First visits Peaches Hothouse and Goat Town.
[Photo: La Silhouette]