This week, Pete Wells visits Quality Italian, the new Midtown retaurant from Michael and Alan Stillman. The food and service are kitschy at times, but not always in a bad way, and some dishes work. Here's Wells on one popular dish that misses the mark:
I wanted to believe there was more than kitsch to the chicken parmigiana that looked and acted like a 13-inch pizza. But its shroud of browned cheese was more like Tombstone than Totonno's; its fried breading was limp, and after our server had sliced the pizza into wedges with a wheel, the chicken turned out to be spongy ground breast and thigh meat almost completely free of seasoning. Other diners report tasting herbs and salt in the patty, but even that, and a serving that easily feeds two with leftovers (in a pizza box, of course), wouldn't persuade me to pay $58.Wells recommends some of the shellfish dishes, and a few of the meat entrees. Overall, he gives Quality Italian one star. [NYT]
[Khe-Yo by Daniel Krieger]
Ryan Sutton awards two and a half stars to Khe-Yo, the new Tribeca Laotian restaurant from Marc Forgione and chef Soulayphet Schwader: "Beef tartare, a mix of knuckle and skirt, practically sizzles with lime, while a sucker punch of chile keeps your mouth buzzing. It comes with oyster sauce-drizzled bone marrow. Why? Because fat tames the pain. Allegedly. Khe-Yo does right by laap, zippy meat and fish salads. Try the fluke laap ($13). Schwader drapes paper-thin sheets of the flatfish over eggplant and jalapenos." [Bloomberg]
[Daisuke Nakazawa by Marguerite Preston]
Daniel S. Meyer gives four stars out of five to Sushi Nakazawa in the West Village: "The fewer the embellishments, the better, as with pike mackerel, featuring a gentle brininess that gives way to unctuous maritime fat as you chew, and wild yellowtail from Hokkaido, with fatty tails that tantalizingly overhang rice so tenderly packed, it would fall to pieces if you looked at it funny. At times, delicately flavored creatures like scallops or fluke are outstripped by pungent wasabi or yuzu. But the meal is like a wave, its gentle lulls rendering the crests all the more thrilling." [TONY]
Meanwhile, Adam Platt gives three stars to Sushi Nakazawa: "There's an impeccable freshness to the sushi here, and in contrast to the restaurant's frilly décor, most of the pieces I sampled had the kind of focused simplicity that you don't find at many sushi palaces. The lucent, icy-clear ikura (salmon roe) was some of the best I've ever tasted." [GS/NYM]
[The Musket Room by Krieger]
Stan Sagner gives five stars to Matt Lambert's Nolita restaurant The Musket Room: "Peppered with witty inspiration, Lambert's cooking is at once cerebral and soulful. Your meal might begin with a throwback touch — the flourished lift of a gleaming dome. Instead of steam, though, a smoldering cloud reveals a fanciful, plated still life of delicately smoked shredded scallop ($15), compressed pear and marigolds. Its stunning interplay of color and texture are equally camera- and fork-ready, and should not be missed." Note: The online reviews is incorrectly credited to Michael Kaminer, the NYDN's other critic. [NYDN]
[American Cut by Bess Adler]
Joshua David Stein likes the over-the-top food and splashy vibe at Marc Forgione's American Cut in Tribeca: "Even the slightest suggestion of nuance has been gutted. The menu is a succinct study of too much. Its divisions are unsurprising: raw, classic and hot appetizers and then a page of meat. Mr. Forgione has correctly surmised that surprise has no place here. One doesn't go to a steakhouse to be jolted but to be validated. The best a steakhouse can do, and this American Cut does, is to perfect the small canon of classics. By perfect, I suppose I mean both properly execute and make even more extravagantly bananas." [Observer]
[Toro by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Gael Greene likes the food more than the clubby scene at Le Bilboquet, Amelia Lester of Tables for Two loves the authentic Chinese fare at Hunan Manor, Ligaya Mishan finds a mixed bag at Italian newcomer Gastronomia Culinaria on the Upper West Side, Zachary Feldman visits Larb Ubol and Somtum Der, and Danyelle Freeman is blown away by Toro.
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats editor J. Kenji López-Alt digs the seafood at Cull & Pistol in Chelsea Market, Chris Stang of Immaculate Infatuation is not impressed by The Elm in Williamsburg, the Pink Pig has a solid meal at Contra on the Lower East Side, NYC Foodie tries the ramen and wings at Ganso in Downtown Brooklyn, Joe DiStefano loves the big tray of chicken at Stall #28 in the New World Mall Food Court, Chekmark Eats has a great meal at Atlantic Grill, Goodies First thinks that Ceveceria Havemeyer is a good neighborhood restaurant, The Food Doc checks out Gwynnett St. on its second anniversary, and NY Journal samples some exciting dishes at Uncle Boons in Nolita.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]