Pete Wells files a sushi twofer today, with reviews of both East Village newcomer Sushi Dojo and Midtown stalwart Kurumazushi. Although some dishes don't quite click for Wells at Sushi Dojo, he loves the energy and creativity on display:
The soul of this party is sushi worth getting crazy for, made by three chefs with a strong traditional bent: Hiromi Suzuki, Makoto Yoshizawa and David Bouhadana....One night I asked Ms. Suzuki for $75 worth of sashimi and sushi, dealer's choice. Sashimi came first: entwined bands of unshy, oily horse mackerel under a stubble of chives; firm white squares of local striped bass; shiny sunset-pink Arctic char jolted with lemon; bonito seared by a pass of the blowtorch; a slippery-soft tongue of raw spotted prawn next to its armored head.Wells gives Sushi Dojo two stars. Meanwhile, he finds that Kurumazushi is not the excellent sushi restaurant that it once was. The critic gives the restaurant one star (down from three), noting that "an omakase meal that starts at $300 should make you fall silent more than once or twice." [NYT]
The streaks of fresh wasabi I drew with a chopstick tip underscored what Ms. Suzuki had already done with her knives, her torch and her seasonings to enhance the texture and taste of each kind of sashimi.
[Toro's Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette by Krieger]
Ryan Sutton finds that the menu at Toro is a mixed bag of winning dishes and artful misfires: "Toro overreaches with a 60-item-plus menu, but even arbitrary ordering results in a solid meal. Tuna belly is so delicately poached in olive oil it could pass for custard. Tortilla espanola is a flawless omelet, meant for dunking in garlicky aioli. And pan con tomate sports a wondrous blend of oil, salt and tart fruit. It costs $6 — just two bucks more than at the Boston location. I'll take it." Sutton gives the restaurant two stars. [Bloomberg]
[Piora by Daniel Krieger]
Adam Platt awards two stars to Piora in the West Village and one star to Skal on the Lower East Side. On the former: "Some of the tasters at my table thought the sweetly peppery barbecued-octopus appetizer skewed too far toward the heavy, overcharred Korean octopus model, despite the presence of candied pine nuts and a sprig of basil. No one had anything unkind to say about the scallops, however (with chanterelles and slips of crackly chicken skin), or the house pastas, all of which are constructed in a similarly rich, multitextured way." [NYM/GS]
[Photo by Robert Sietsema]
Daniel S. Meyer gives three stars out of five to Han Dynasty in the East Village: "The much-talked-about dandan noodles ($7.95) justify the hype, springier than most and with a defter balance between throat-buzzing chili oil and mollifying sesame paste. They're tossed fervently at your table, sometimes by Chiang, who darts around the lively room, brashly recounting the ancient origins of his dishes like a pirate anthropologist with a penchant for the f-bomb." [TONY]
Michael Kaminer gives three stars to Zero Otto Nove in the Bronx: "We almost didn't want to share Margherita pizza ($13.95), which was so good it made us greedy. Zero Otto Nove's pizza oven dominates the dining room, and it cranks out picture-perfect pies like this one. The crust is thin, slightly charred and just blistered enough — and the pie comes topped with impeccable Parmesan and mozzarella, fresh basil and sauce that's clean and piquant." [NYDN]
[Marco's by Krieger]
THE ELSEWHERE: Amelia Lester of Tables for Two samples some excellent Italian food at Marco's in Prospect Heights, Gael Greene is impressed by the five-course prix fixe at Contra on the Lower East Side, Ligaya Mishan discovers some terrific vegetarian fare at the Ethiopian Lunch Box, and Chris Schonberger files a detailed recap of a recent meal at Sushi Nakazawa.
[Contra by Bess Adler]
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats editor Max Falkowitz is disappointed by Skal on the Lower East Side, Immaculate Infatuation's Chris Stang gives a 3.0 rating to Ramen Yebisu in Williamsburg, the Pink Pig likes the chicken & waffles at Sweet Chick, Billy Lyons thinks that some of the sandwiches at Mayhem & Stout miss the mark, Eat Big Apple has a solid meal at Tacombi, NYC Foodie is impressed by the inventive fare at Contra, Joe DiStefano recommends ordering the kibbeh nayeh at Wafa's in Forest Hills, and NY Journal finds some hits and misses at Distilled in Tribeca.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]
[Top Photo: Sushi Dojo]