As noted yesterday, Pete Wells is totally floored by Daisuke Nakazawa's sushi at West Village newcomer Sushi Nakazawa: "He dabs Japanese mustard under medium-fatty tuna and the hay-smoked skipjack, bringing out its bloody-lip tang. Yuzukosho, a paste of bright yuzu peel and burning chiles, bites playfully into the cool sweetness of a sea scallop lopped from its shell just a minute before it's served, its edges still fluttering. That scallop dish is distinctively his, and once you've had it you'd know it anywhere." Wells waves his wand and gives the restaurant four stars. [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo finds that the food at The Cecil has improved since the restaurant opened a few months ago: "A composed presentation of unctuous chicken liver pâté parried by sweet date jam and crunchy cassava chips might have taken the subway from a French bistro downtown — except that the bistro's wouldn't be as good. A vegetable and rice wok bar combo of steamed, crackling black rice in a bowl brimming with chili tofu turns spicier and more complex the deeper you burrow through layers of oranges, crisp-fried peas, carrots and fiery, garlicky piri-piri tomato sauce. Whichever spot on the globe it's meant to stand for, put me on the next plane." Cuozzo gives the new Harlem restaurant two stars. [NYP]
Daniel S. Meyer gives three stars (out of five) to Skal on the Lower East Side: "For starters, ragged beef tartare ($13) looks as if it were sliced with a chain saw, its wonderfully chewy scraps bound with creamy, briny minced clams. Smoky duck wings ($14) appear to have washed ashore, cloaked in seaweed and piled atop a lush black puddle of crushed mussels and squid ink. They call it black mayo; some might call it bizarre, but it is worth licking off the plate." [TONY]
Adam Platt awards two stars to both East 12th Osteria and New York Sushi Ko. Platt encounters some service slip-ups at the former, but he digs the food: "[I]f you persevere, you will be rewarded with unexpected pleasures like bowls of rust-colored guazzetto di pesce (fish stew), tender cuts of lamb loin crusted in bread crumbs and green olives, and a cut of well-aged tagliata di manzo (with bone marrow), which is easily the best piece of steak in this scruffy, vegan-friendly part of town." [GS/NYM]
Michael Kaminer awards three stars (out of five) to Metro Cafe in Sunset Park: "A classic dish like Chong Qing chicken ($13.95) emerges from Metro Cafe'ss kitchen sizzling in taste and temperature. Slathered with a chili-based sauce, dense little fried-chicken morsels get bathed in red and green chili peppers, peppercorns, and whole garlic cloves. The effect is incendiary and revelatory, if you're used to the saccharine glop that passes for Szechuan food around much of Gotham." [NYDN]
[Rotisserie Georgette by Krieger]
THE ELSEWHERE: Gael Greene recommends the Poule de Luxe at Rotisserie Georgette, Amelia Lester likes many of the dishes on Chris Cipollone's menu at Piora, Ligaya Mishan samples the traditional Isan fare at Larb Ubol in Hell's Kitchen, and Restaurant Girl is disappointed by Pagani and Villard Michel Richard.
[Cucina Ciano by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats editor Max Falkowitz tries the South Indian fare at Kokum in Murray Hill, Immaculate Infatuation's Chris Stang gives a 4.2 rating to Papatzul in Soho, the Pink Pig enjoys the biscuits at Empire Biscuit in the East Village, Eat Big Apple has a solid meal at Pig and Khao, Joe DiStefano recommends the cauliflower sandwich at Wafa's in Forest Hills, Hannah Palmer Egan is impressed by Toro, and NY Journal thinks that Cucina Ciano is just okay.
· All Coverage of Week in Reviews [~ENY~]
[Top photo: The Cecil by Krieger]