This week, Pete Wells files on Krescendo, the new Boerum Hill pizzeria from West Coast expat Elizabeth Falkner and Brooklyn native Nancy Puglisi. Wells thinks that Falkner's pies are unconventional, but delicious, and he finds that the rest of the menu is full of pleasant surprises:
The quality of a restaurant's pizza often correlates negatively with that of its pastas and salads. Ms. Falkner brings the same quiet focus to all her cooking at Krescendo. Her pasta con le sarde, with toasted pebbles of Sardinian fregola, is exceptional. And while the spaghetti al pomodoro does not surpass the great version at Scarpetta, it comes close enough to survive the comparison unscathed, and it contains way less butter.The space is generic (except for the sparkly oven), and a few of the dishes don't work. But overall, Wells thinks that this is a restaurant worth seeking out. He gives Krescendo two big ones. [NYT]
Krescendo's pizza knots are more like zeppole, deep-fried dough with a tendency to be a bit undercooked at the core. But get them anyway and avoid the doughy parts, dipping the rest in the remarkably deep sauce of black garlic, calamata olives, balsamic vinegar and molasses.
Steve Cuozzo is baffled by Morimoto's new restaurant, Tribeca Canvas: "Kurobuta corn dogs? Tough little pork numbers bland as canned Vienna sausage, skewered on ice-cream bar sticks under batter theoretically crispened with fried potatoes; only one of three shaggy dogs had the least crackle. Morimoto's mac 'n' cheese 'interpretation'? Limp elbows and four unidentifiable cheeses in a somnolent alloy that a bread-crumb sprinkling failed to arouse. Stir in a poached egg on top and, voilà! It's as gooey and indistinct as before." The Cuozz gives it half a star. [NYP]
Robert Sietsema finds a mixed bag at Chez Sardine, but he recommends the sushi: "The sushi is of the fussed-over variety, yet the flavor schemes are solid, the fish fresh, and the juxtapositions pleasantly novel. A curl of brown Spanish mackerel goes exceedingly well with leeks and potatoes frizzled on top, while sea urchin wrapped in nori conceals a wad of beef underneath, as if the chef were torn between land and sea. Prices run $4 to $8 apiece, and you'd have to eat at least 15 to make a meal. These are really not drinking snacks." [VV]
Michael Kaminer gives two stars (out of five) to Hakkasan: "Hakkasan's not skimping on quality; meat, fish and veg look and taste topnotch. But none of the presentations do them justice. Whether a dish emerges lukewarm, oversauced or overdone, you realize the limitations of what's essentially a chain-restaurant kitchen. And none of those lapses are forgivable at these stratospheric price points." [NYDN]
Adam Platt awards one star to both Tribeca Canvas and Pig and Khao. On Morimoto's restaurant: "[T]he sense you get, as one dish is cleared away and another arrives, is that, instead of cooking from the heart, this talented chef is coming up with his slightly tortured, transparently trendy recipes by putting on a blindfold and randomly throwing darts at a map." [GS/NYM]
Jay Cheshes files on Fletcher's and BrisketTown this week. On the latter: "The brisket, Pat LaFrieda meat in a salt-and-pepper rub, deserves a host of blue ribbons. In both fatty and lean iterations, it's never dry—potent with smoke, with an intense peppery ring around the edges. Pork ribs, finished in brown sugar and maple syrup, are impressive too—dense, meaty and falling off the bone." BrisketTown gets four stars out of five; Fletcher's gets three stars out of five. [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Gael Greene is floored by chef Abe Hiroki's special tasting menu at EN Japanese Brasserie, Tejal Rao digs the pies and the atmosphere at Juliana's in Dumbo, Silvia Killingsworth of Tables for Two praises the polenta and the pasta dishes at L'Apicio, and Ligaya Mishan has a wonderful sushi experience at Tanoshi on the Upper East Side.
THE BLOGS: The Immaculate Infatuation boys give a solid 8.0 to Egg in Williamsburg, the Food Doc thinks that Aska is even more accomplished than Frej, Eat Big Apple likes the setting and the food at Gaonnuri more than the service, Chekmark Eats has a unique and satisfying meal at Comodo, The Pink Pig discovers high-end French cooking at a reasonable price at Jeanne & Gaston, NYC Foodie has a great meal at Harold Dieterle's The Marrow, and NY Journal loves the food and the service at David Santos's Louro.
· All Reviews on Eater [~ENY~]