Pete Wells loves what Momofuku Noodle Bar vet Kevin Pemoulie is working on in Jersey City right now. This week, the critic files on Thirty Acres, the restaurant that Pemoulie runs with his wife, Alex. Some of the standouts:
Tasting cured belly of Arctic char sprinkled with sesame seeds and sea salt and accompanied by whipped scallion cream cheese, I could close my eyes and believe I was at a brunch catered by Russ & Daughters. The missing element, a bagel, wasn't missed at all; it would have gummed up the gently sweet slices of fish.Wells does not love the reservation policy, and he thinks that the restaurant could use some better glassware. But the critic is impressed by Pemoulie's food and the fun spirit of the place. Two stars. [NYT]
We were still in Eastern Europe for a kind of pot roast of beef chuck under a shower of freshly grated horseradish and for braised cabbage wrapped around a cod fillet, although the Old Bay seasoning in the broth moved toward America again. The inspiration for a warm salad of spelt with sea urchin and triangles of Asian pear was harder to pinpoint, but I was taken aback by how well the earthy grains took to the sweet and briny urchin.
Steve Cuozzo loves the steaks at Arlington Club, the new collaboration between Laurent Tourondel and Tao Group, but he thinks that some of the other sections of the menu need work: "The piece de resistance is cote de boeuf (34 ounces for two, $110), a bone-in rib cut that's magic in Tourondel's hands, tender and toothsome by turns and seething with mysterious mineral essences. If your system can take it, spoon marrow from the bone. But dishes honed to Tao-scene taste didn't compare. A sweet lobster claw failed to redeem a messy salad of baby kale and rubbery sunchokes." [NYP]
Stan Sagner awards four stars (out of five) to Hospoda on the Upper East Side: "'Still Life in Orange and Green' would be an apt title for a seasonal salad ($15) of artfully arranged nuggets of roasted pattypan squash, pumpkin, and baby zucchini. Accompanied by a dollop of spiced paprika crème fraiche and chunks of molasses cake, these seemingly disparate components somehow meld in harmony. A clunkier rendition on this same theme is the composed heirloom carrot salad ($15). While equally photogenic, its preening stars lacked depth, and salt for that matter." [NYDN]
Tejal Rao digs chef Jessica Wilson's food at Dear Bushwick: "A grand pork chop ($20), the centerpiece of the menu, sits on shaved brussels sprouts in a bacon-y vinaigrette. The sprouts pack flavor without adding weight to the dish. This is the sort of simple, seasonal food that might change your mind about contemporary English cooking." [VV]
Jay Cheshes is blown away by the new menu at Eleven Madison Park: "In a city gone mad for tasting menus—from Brooklyn Fare to Blanca—Eleven Madison Park's is right now the one to beat, the most inspired, coherent and downright delicious, and, yes, the most fun." He gives the restaurant five stars, the magazine's highest rating. [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan is not completely won over by Aamanns-Copenhagen in Tribeca, Robert Sietsema likes many of the dishes at Peruvian-Chinese newcomer Chifa, Amelia Lester of Tables for Two is very impressed by Alex Raij's cooking at La Vara, and Gael Greene offers restaurant recommendations for a variety of different occasions.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine drops his list of "must-eat New York dishes of 2012," The Immaculate Infatuation guys give a 7.8 rating to Hundred Acres, The Pink Pig thinks that Dave Santos has a hit on his hands with Louro, NYC Foodie likes pretty much everything at Chez Sardine, Eat Big Apple recommends Nan Bei Ho in Bayside, Goodies First files on the American barbecue Christmas dinner at Fatty 'Cue, Chekmark Eats approves of the pies at Krescendo, and NY Journal loves the food and the vibe at Thalassa.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]