As noted yesterday, Pete Wells demoted New York institution Le Cirque from three stars to just one. There are some good dishes from new chef Olivier Reginensi, and the service is still fussy as ever. But Wells notes: "These are not the best of times at Le Cirque, and I could never square what I'd eaten with what I'd been asked to pay for it. It may be the restaurant's last remaining way of telling diners where they stand." [NYT]
Although he finds a few dishes that don't completely work, Ryan Sutton is very impressed by the modernist cuisine being served at Atera: "The take-it-or-leave $165 tasting menu will cost you, after wine pairings, tax and tip, just under $700 for two. That makes Atera one of New York's most expensive new restaurants since Per Se debuted in 2004. If anyone can justify such prices, it's chef Matthew Lightner, late of Mugaritz in Spain and Castagna in Oregon. His progressive American fare, sometimes resembling geological phenomena, already navigates the border between three and four stars." Sutton gives the restaurant three stars for now. [Bloomberg]
Stan Sagner is not a fan of The Hurricane Club: "The heavily promoted Crispy Peking Pig ($38), a heap of cloyingly sweet fried pork nuggets accompanied by a disproportionately ample basket of steamed buns is practically a poster-child for a mayoral anti-obesity campaign. In fairness, a bite or two can be pretty tasty, but a little goes a long way. A ring of sweet scallops a la plancha ($31) started pleasantly, sharing its plate with summery corn and peaches. That nice surprise turned nasty, though, with a grim bite into a gritty, raw scallop that appeared to have bypassed the grill altogether." The critic gives the restaurant one star out of five. [NYDN]
Adam Platt awards one star to Raymi, Richard Sandoval's new restaurant in the old Nuela space: "Peruvian cuisine is famous for its profusion of dizzying flavors and influences (from Japan, China, Spain, Latin America, and West Africa), and Sandoval and his fellow chef-owner Jaime Pesaque do a better job than their predecessors of editing these down for the finicky New York palate and presenting a coherent vision on the plate." [NYM/GS]
Robert Sietsema discovers great Chiapas-style Mexican food at Casa Enrique in Long Island City: "The menu offers plenty of antojitos, including tacos and sopes: Anything using the restaurant's homemade skinless chorizo is fab. But if you need to appetize, better to select one of the seaboard snacks that reflect the Pacific cuisine of southern Mexico. There's a great ceviche made with various market fish soaked in lime juice and onion, and another featuring shrimp in what's almost a tomato soup. Both are garnished with sliced, perfectly ripe avocado, a fruit you're never far away from at Casa Enrique." [VV]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ariel Levy of Tables For Two likes the vibe and the menu at Reynard, Tejal Rao wishes that the food and service at Chop Shop in Chelsea were more focused, and Gael Greene finds several winning dishes amidst the clamor at Swine in the West Village.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats does not recommend Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, the Immaculate Infatuation boys approve of Brucie in Cobble Hill, Eat Big Apple digs digs the food at BLT Prime, Chekmark Eats likes the take-away options at City Bakery, Goodies First is not offended by Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, NYC Foodie is a fan of Exchange Alley, the Pink Pig has a fun meal at Guy Fieri's restaurant, and NY Journal has a good (but unremarkable) dinner at Angolo in Soho.
· All Coverage of Week in Reviews [~ENY~]