Some people who've gone to Pearl & Ash seem confused about what kind of restaurant it is. The menu is heavy on small plates, but then the dishes under the meat and fish headings can also be prepared in main-course sizes. You can cover the table with a carnival of little dishes, or start with an appetizer and proceed to an entree. Whatever. Let's just call it a very high-functioning wine bar that offers one of the best values in the city, and move on.As for the food, Wells recommends the scallops, the hanger steak tartare, the quail, and the skirt steak. The critic gives the restaurant two stars, overall. [NYT]
Although he gives the restaurant two stars, Steve Cuozzo thinks that Carbone falls short of its four star ambitions: "Pasta monotonously lacked contrast or texture. Only one of six I tried rang the bell: modestly named, immodestly priced ($30) spaghetti de mare. The joy lay less in showoff elements like rock shrimp, bay scallops and razor clams, than in crackling tomato, garlic, chili, parsley and garlic. Most others evoked mediocre trattorias, especially dry and clumpy angel hair begging for more olive oil." [NYP]
Ryan Sutton likes the food and the vibe at Pearl & Ash: "Fried quail atop crisped chicken skin is the thinking man's turducken, a supreme poultry punch for $15. Mussels and maitake mushrooms, an alliteration of earth and sea, knock you out with the essences of fungi and brine, all tied together by a creamy shellfish broth. Skip the spongy veal cheek ($13) and finish things off with pork meatballs drenched in shiitake sauce and finished with dried bonito." The critic gives the restaurant two and a half stars out of four. [Bloomberg]
Joshua David Stein files a rave of Wylie Dufresne's Alder: "Mr. Dufresne is also a neighborhood boy. He grew up in the East Village and went to Friends Seminary in Gramercy. The rye pasta ($18), served over a slice of pastrami, is a holla back to the neighborhood delicatessens of his youth (even though Mr. Dufresne said he is a Katz's man himself). It tastes like a sandwich, looks like a pasta and embodies the best of what Alder does. It makes you smile." [Observer]
Tejal Rao is not a fan of the large format meals at Feast: "Feast's menus would be better off without the pretension and frills, constructed around the stronger dishes—like the fresh pasta filled with lamb shank and preserved lemon. If the kitchen could turn its attention to technique and execution, perhaps on fewer dishes prepared with more thought to how they all fit together, it could be a good place to celebrate the end of a tough work week among friends." [VV]
The Robs award three U.G. stars to Bar Ciccio Alimentari in Soho, and two U.G. stars to Forno Pizzeria e Trattoria in Maspeth, Queens. Chef Giacomo Romano has a way with pastas at Bar Ciccio: "Romano's strisce are flat and ribbon-y and irregularly cut like maltagliati...Another thing to know about these homely noodles: When cooked in Chianti and mingled with crisp nuggets of pancetta, red onion, and melted dabs of young Pecorino, they are pretty much perfect." [GS/NYM]
Jordana Rothman likes the steaks and chops at Bill's Food & Drink, but not much else: "A $16 kale salad—a sort of evolution of the classic Caesar—offered tough greens painted in gluey tahini dressing, with green apple and cashews. A ravioli special arrived in lifeless bundles, dense pasta sheets pressed around pasty ricotta cheese, dressed with asparagus, fava beans and an insipid Parmesan foam." The interim critic gives the restaurant two stars out of five. [TONY]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ariel Levy of Tables for Two thinks that Pearl & Ash is a good first date restaurant, Robert Sietsema digs the Cypriot fare at Kopiaste Taverna in Astoria, Stan Sagner gives four stars (out of five) to Alder, Gael Greene pays a visit to MP Taverna on its first Saturday night, and Ligaya Mishan recommends the desserts and the tasting menu at Prospect in Fort Greene.
THE BLOGS: J. Kenji López-Alt gives a thumbs up to Kajitsu, the Immaculate Infatuation boys award a 7.9 rating to the new location of Franny's, NYC Foodie has a fun meal at Thai newcomer Uncle Boons, Eat Big Apple has a pleasant brunch at Alewife in Long Island City, The Food Doc thinks that Carbone suffers from an identity crisis, Goodies First likes the slices at Best Pizza, and NY Journal has a terrific and surprisingly affordable meal at Feast.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]