This week, Pete Wells visits Khe-Yo, the Laotian restaurant from Marc Forgione and Soulayphet Schwader. The critic wishes there was less hand-holding from the service staff, but he likes chef Phet's vibrant food:
The most intriguing flavors hide out in Khe-Yo's sauces. Grilled black bass that comes to the table with its blackened head staring up like a totem is ordinary until you wrap it in lettuce with a funky, salty jam of tamarind and peanuts. This makes it great. A similar transformation happens when you dip the sesame beef jerky in a thick paste of assorted dried smoked chilies pounded with galangal. The condiment is as dark and glossy as shoe polish, and the peppers contribute both fruitiness and spice that make it wonderfully complex.Wells gives the restaurant one star, and notes that Mangez Avec Moi, a nearby Thai restaurant, also serves a limited menu of Laotian cuisine that's worth seeking out.
[Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny by Daniel Krieger]
Although he writes that a pig snout dish one night was "so leathery that chewing on it was like getting nourishment from an old football," Pete Wells also finds a lot to like at Andy Ricker's Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny. His advice:
Few items, except for maybe the wings, are substantial enough to be main courses. Still, you can easily put together a satisfying meal out of a few snacks, a salad and divots of sticky rice. It isn't a going-out-to-dinner kind of night, but it makes a great field trip with one or two other bar-stool travelers.He gives the restaurant one star too. [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo thinks that the Greenwich Project needs to get its act together: "Even on Sunday night, Coho salmon should not have bones and an inch-long piece of cartilage. At no time should it be served with dry and bitter grains the server called 'farro greens' — actually farro tinted with Thai-basil pistou and cilantro. At least tuna tartare miraculously retained its sea quality despite a baroque mash-up of ponzu, sesame oil, jalapenos, scallions, grapefruit and kumquat, stacked on citrus-tapioca crackers and soy vinaigrette." [NYP]
[Casa Enrique by Daniel Krieger]
Michael Kaminer is impressed by Cosme Aguilar's cooking at Casa Enrique: "Firm fluke makes a perfect ceviche ($12) in Aguilar's hands. Puckery and complex, it sings of lime, onion and habanero heat without the usual acidity. Rajas con crema ($8), mild sliced poblano peppers with cream, manages to balance creaminess with clean textures. I can't remember feeling so light after eating something this rich." He gives the restaurant three stars out of five. [NYDN]
[Piora Daniel Krieger]
Daniel S. Meyer awards four stars out of five to Chris Cipollone's Piora: "Striking vegetation is a hallmark not just of the decor, but of Cipollone's food. Confited chicken nuggets—nestled into a luxurious pillow of pureed potatoes and runny egg—stand poised to steal the show. But it's artichokes laced with white wine that levitate the buttery dish. Crisp-skinned ocean trout spiked with salty nduja—a pork-sausage spread—is pulled from the briny brink by sweet pear puree." [TONY]
[Photo by Daniel Krieger]
Alan Richman checks in on the "power lunches" being served at Carbone and Del Posto. On the former: "The garlic bread is moderate in heft but vigorous in flavor, exactly right. The tortellini with ragù is a tour de force of Italian-American delicacy. The pasta rings are stuffed with sheep's milk ricotta and sit atop a creamy, pale, old-fashioned red sauce made with beef, veal, pork and lardo. Every cook working in Little Italy should be required by law to sample it. The Caprese salad, routine elsewhere, here consists of basil-flecked heirloom tomatoes in olive oil with a side of warm, fresh mozzarella." [GQ]
[Photo by Robert Sietsema]
Adam Platt gives three stars to chef Han Chiang's Han Dynasty: "Han Chiang will tell you that he only hires chefs who have full culinary degrees from China, which may be why the green beans in my order of string beans with ground pork, a Sichuan staple, were cooked just this side of crunchy, and startlingly green. Ditto the pea shoots with garlic, and the delicious eggplant in garlic sauce, a dish so expertly spiced and beautifully textured that it prompted Daughter No. 2 to finish her vegetables for the first time in weeks." [GS/NYM]
[American Cut by Bess Adler]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ms. Gael Greene has a fun time at American Cut in Tribeca, Ligaya Mishan likes the food more than the dining room at Umami Burger, and Hannah Goldfield of Tables for Two is charmed by Williamsburg newcomer Shalom Japan.
[Juni by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt likes the starters way more than the entrees at Han Dynasty, Chris Stang of Immaculate Infatuation gives an 8.1 rating to The East Pole, the Food Doc files a detailed recap of the Coi dinner at Momofuku Ko this week, NYC Foodie samples the goods at Toro in Chelsea, Joe DiStefano tries the caviar sandwich at Grand Central Oyster Bar, Eat Big Apple digs the Greek fare at Anassa Taverna, and NY Journal has an enjoyable meal at Shaun Hergatt's Juni.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]