The main courses are on the mild side, and the sauces rarely achieve the profound interplay of heat, bitterness, smoke, fruits, nuts and spices that can make Mexican cuisine so rewarding. Balancing that, though, is the kitchen's emphasis on fresh flavors and its appealing lineup of street snacks and other appetizers.He likes the grilled lobster, some of the tacos, and many of the snacks. Wells notes that if you order the right starters and a Margarita, "the night will cruise along like a 707 to Acapulco." The critic gives El Toro Blanco one star. [NYT]
Ryan Sutton is not a fan of John Delucie's pricey new restaurant Bill's Food and Drink: "A stiff whiskey cocktail helps you forget you're paying $110 for osso buco. Bottles of champers start at $115. Foie gras starts at $75; compare that with $40 at Per Se, where the price includes tip. Sure, the foie at Bill's can feed three, and it's perfectly seared with a jiggly interior. Still. The kitchen should try an innovative technique to lower the price by 50 percent and cut the foie in half." Sutton gives the place a half star rating. [Bloomberg]
Robert Sietsema enjoys the food and the vibe at Le Midi Bistro near Union Square: "Our favorite entrée was a Riesling-braised chicken ($21). The extensively stewed yardbird nested on a bed of spaetzle in a cream sauce dotted with cocktail onions and mushrooms, a lumpy welter of white. Until the bright woodsy flavors kicked in, the lack of color was daunting, like a blanket of snow on a hilly landscape." [VV]
The Robs love Gabe Stulman's Chez Sardine: "In the izakaya tradition, you'll want to pair the booze with salty deep-fried mouth-waterers like crunchy rice balls and McNugget-size bites of chicken enlivened with kimchee purée and spicy aïoli. But where this kitchen really shines is in the seafood department, both raw and cooked, and in the unexpected offcuts you're likelier to stumble across in a bona fide Japanese joint." The critics give it four U.G. stars (out of five). [GS/NYM]
Michael Kaminer gives three stars (out of five) to Super Linda in Tribeca: "Carne asado ($28) pairs grilled skirt steak with classic bacon mofongo — mashed plantains and pork — topped with a mound of tomatillos and jalapeño. The tender meat arrives perfectly medium-rare, as ordered. But the mofongo bears an unwelcome saltiness, and it's all smothered in a dark-brown 'cascabel steak sauce' most redolent of A1." [NYDN]
Jay Cheshes awards three stars (out of five) to L'Apicio in the East Village: "Though the pastas, in main-course portions, are the high point of a meal here, there are substantial proteins, too: simple, solid entrées—home cooking for harried junior executives. A big, juicy pork chop, blackened on the grill, with tart cranberries and roasted sweet potatoes, is flavorful, certainly, but not very exciting. Cod saltimbocca has a bit more zip, the fat, flaky fillet wrapped in crispy speck in an intense shellfish broth floating sliced chorizo." [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan recommends going the "cheese omakase" route at Murray's Cheese Bar, Lizzie Widdicombe of Tables for Two is disappointed by Pig and Khao, Tejal Rao checks out the scene at Bill's Food & Drink, and Ms. Gael Greene visits Azuri Cafe on West 51st Street.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats gives a solid A to Zizi Limona in Williamsburg, the Immaculate Infatuation boys dig Potlikker, Eat Big Apple pays a second visit to Co-Op Food and Drink, Chekmark Eats loves Da Silvano, NYC Foodie digs Louro in the West Village, and NY Journal has a pleasant meal at the new location of The Smith on the Upper West Side.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]