Pete Wells finds that Marco Canora and his team are still turning out great seasonal Italian fare at Hearth, which turns 10 next month. A few dishes weren't perfect on his visits, and the service faltered at times. But Wells loved many of the entrees and appetizers that he sampled. Here's one:
In early fall, I ate just-cooked canestri, like bent rigatoni, tossed with braised cauliflower and wilted Tuscan kale; on top were toasted bread crumbs that stayed crisp until the pasta was gone, which bread crumbs never do when I make them. What made the crunch of the crumbs, the chew of the noodles, the long, mellow flavors of the vegetables so satisfying was the way they filled a hunger I wouldn't have felt a month earlier.Wells gives the restaurant two stars, the same rating that it received from Amanda Hesser in 2004. [NYT]
[Juni by Krieger]
Adam Platt awards two stars to Shaun Hergatt's Juni: "In Hergatt's hands, chicken isn't chicken in the usual ho-hum way. It's gourmet poussin, deboned into little rounds, gently poached, and garnished with, among other things, an emulsion folded with crème fraîche. My excellent veal entrée was prepared in a similarly elevated way and served with a medley of Japanese mushrooms all mingled together with a truffle-juice emulsion." [GS/NYM]
Meanwhile, Steve Cuozzo is impressed by the food and frustrated by the service at Juni: "Two month-old Juni, serving some of the most compelling food in town, is flirting with self-immolation. Oligarch-friendly prices, wintry rooms and Fawlty Towers service might bury chef Shaun Hergatt's 'heart of the season' menu before it takes root." Cuozzo also notes: "Hergatt's harmonious marriage of earthbound elements to meat and fish often left us breathless." The critic gives Juni two and a half stars. [NYP]
Ryan Sutton loves Chris Cipollone's Asian-influenced Italian food at Piora: "Cipollone simmers octopus in lobster stock ($16) and coats the tentacles in a Korean fermented pepper paste. Candied pine nuts amplify the rich, spicy notes that are then cut by basil. Brilliant. Even better are the chicken wings, which Cipollone debones, confits and fries. Then they're tossed with a poached egg, peperoncini flakes and artichokes, and finished with aerated potato puree, making the spuds ethereal." Sutton gives the restaurant three stars. [Bloomberg]
[La Cenita by Krieger]
Michael Kaminer is not a fan of La Cenita: "A short list of proper main dishes includes Duck Enchiladas ($28), which La Cenita might consider redubbing Duck Flakes in Dough. The ratio of bread to bird is shameful, like cheap sushi that's all rice and no fish. Bland brown 'ranchero salsa' and squiggles of crema give it all the finesse of a TGI Friday's happy-hour offering." The critic gives one star to the EMM Group's new restaurant. [NYDN]
Daniel S. Meyer gives two stars out of five to Quality Italian in Midtown: "Chef Scott Tacinelli's penchant for tableside cooking adds a carnival element to this big-box trattoria, with affable servers making wisecracks over flaming lobster Diavolo. For that seafood classic, a besuited gentleman wields a bottle of chili-steeped vodka, setting a spicy tomato sauce ablaze for lobster that was tender on one night, but stringy on another." [TONY]
[Photo: Bess Adler]
THE ELSEWHERE: Shauna Lyon of Tables for Two loves the experience of dining at City Grit, Gael Greene likes the food and the theatrical spirit of Tao Downtown, and Ligaya Mishan recommends skipping the boiled seafood and going straight for the South Asian dishes at Crazy Crab 888.
THE BLOGS: Immaculate Infatuation's Andrew Steinthal gives a 7.5 rating to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, Carey Jones of Serious Eats digs the food more than the service at Piora, NYC Foodie visits Diner for the first time, Eat Big Apple has a terrific meal at The Musket Room, the Pink Pig is blown away by the burger and fish and chips at The Elm, Joe DiStefano checks out the dishes on the menu at Bunker's pop-up at Coffeed, Chekmark Eats gives a thumb's up to Epistrophy, and NY Journal has a pleasant experience at Charlie Bird but wishes the menu was more ambitious.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]