Ryan Sutton awards four stars — Bloomberg's highest rating — to Paul Liebrandt and Drew Nieporent's five-year-old Tribeca fine dining restaurant, Corton. Sutton is wowed by Liebrandt's inventive, modern fare:
If there's a better vegetable chef in New York, I don't know who. White asparagus becomes a fragrant loofah for orange blossom oil, a ringtone for lemon balm, apple blossom, edible violets and sweet cicely. And that's only half the dish.Sutton praises the work of sommelier Orr Reches, and he likes the serene dining room. But Liebrant's food is the main reason to go to Corton. The critic writes: "Such culinary tight-rope walking, refined over the years, has propelled Corton into the upper ranks of New York's best restaurants." [Bloomberg]
Liebrandt juggles so many ideas he'll serve potatoes over three consecutive courses: First as a dense, nourishing soup; second as pommes fondant filled with pommes aligot topped with pommes maxim — a crack combo of buttery steakhouse sides crammed into three dizzying bites. And finally? You're handed a purple potato ice cream cone.
Pete Wells takes a break from reviewing the big openings this week to file on East 74th Street restaurant Caravaggio. Wells explains that Caravaggio sits on the "Italian Upper East Side," where "the restaurant menus resemble one another more than they do the menus of Emilia-Romagna, Campania or Umbria." There are some exciting dishes on the menu at Caravaggio, as well as some flops:
Caravaggio has a roasted swordfish that is an Italian flag in seafood form, the white fillet sitting between a red pond of puréed tomato sauce and a frothy green sea of oregano sauce. And it served me one of the prettiest veal chops I've ever seen, trimmed into a thick, nearly perfect circle and evenly, handsomely browned.Wells is especially fond of the chicken meatballs. Caravaggio is pricey, and the service isn't perfect, but the critic concludes: "The civilized style of a place like Caravaggio feels as rare and impressive as a blue whale." One star. [NYT] [Photo]
Osso buco with saffron risotto, which may be the official dish of the Italian Upper East Side, looked better than ever and was almost ideally cooked, the meat tender and rose-tinted, the rice firm and creamy.
But Caravaggio, for all its civility, is haunted by inconsistency more than three years into its run. Some of my meals there were very good; in others, I couldn't find a single dish to get excited about, and there were a few that were just not right at all.
[Montmartre by Krieger]
Adam Platt likes the retooled menu at Tien Ho and Gabe Stulman's Montmartre: "Best of all...is the Vietnamese-American chef's inspired Franco-Vietnamese creation called pot-au-phô ($44 for two), which is presented in a bowl brimming with braised short ribs and shreds of rosy pink sirloin, all slowly cooking down with star anise, scallions, and fronds of coriander in a richly fragrant oxtail broth." The critic gives the restaurant two stars. [GS/NYM]
[Le Philosophe by Krieger]
Steve Cuozzo likes Matthew Aita's work in the kitchen at Le Philosophe: "Bouchot mussels — a reference not to place but to a growing technique that keeps them grit-free — are the plumpest, sweetest little specimens, in a crackling broth of creme fraiche and Aleppo pepper. Salmon and bacon rarely go together, but Aita's way of 'veiling' the fish changed my mind, the delicate salmon drawing in the richness of the pork." The Cuozz gives the restaurant two stars. [NYP]
[Cole's Greenwich Village by Bess Adler]
Robert Sietsema finds some hits and misses at Cole's Greenwich Village: "As at many bistros in this price range—where guests ordering entrées is a given, but the starters need to be sold a bit more—the appetizers outclass the main courses, and are more thoughtfully conceived, too. Topped with microgreens and resting in a buttery sauce dotted with salty ricotta salata, the kabocha squash ravioli ($11) are shaped like smashed colonial tricorn hats, with a thick noodle wrapper that accentuates the orange sweetness of the vegetable. The bistro standard of potato-leek soup has a welcome charge of chervil and smooth creaminess, but the lentils lurking in its depths only annoy." [FitR]
[The Pines by Krieger]
Jordana Rothman is impressed by Angelo Romano's food at The Pines: "An entrée of lamb neck, cooked sous vide until its cartilaginous bits wave the white flag, is served in austere slices held together with transglutaminase (street name: meat glue). Gamey and rich, the meat is paired with butter-drenched kasha, fava beans and a sauce made with mentholy hyssop—a crafty surrogate for traditional mint jelly. If this dish is a testimony to Romano's chefly intellect, his sablefish is an affirmation of solid technique: Crispy skin and flaky flesh converge in a dashi broth floating ramps and plump Manila clams." The interim critic gives the restaurant four stars out of five. [TONY]
[Sen by Krieger]
Michael Kaminer is not impressed by sushi newcomer Sen: "Glutinous rice tastes blank. Miniscule seafood pieces telegraph zero flavor. And the ratio of grain to protein — tons of rice, tiny fish — comes closer to what you get from supermarket sushi. A roll like Crispy Snapper ($12) — with its spiky-sounding gobo root, shiitake, shiso pesto and spicy miso sauce — tastes mostly like fishy bread." Two stars out of five. [NYDN]
[Alder by Krieger]
THE ELSEWHERE: Tejal Rao enjoys many of Wylie Dufresne's kooky creations at Alder, Hannah Goldfield of Tables for Two likes the "outrageous" fare at M. Wells Dinette, Gael Greene has a lot of fun trying the menu at ABC Cocina, and Ligaya Mishan samples the pastas at Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina in Chelsea Market.
[Lafayette by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats recommends the hummus and the shakshuka at Local 92, The Immaculate Infatuation boys gives a solid 9.0 rating to Kajitsu, the Food Doc is not blown away by Lafayette, the Pink Pig has a mediocre lobster roll (but good fries) at Little Fork on the Lower East Side, Goodies First pays a long overdue visit to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Times Square, NYC Foodie has two terrific meals at ABC Cocina, Brownie checks out the new Ronnybrook soft serve at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, and NY Journal thinks that Carmellini's The Library at the Public Theater feels phoned in.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]