As noted yesterday, Pete Wells is impressed by the recent about-face at Gabe Stulman and Tien Ho's Montmartre. On the whole duck: "Long slices of breast had an edge of golden skin sweetened with kumquat glaze, while the legs had been braised with vadouvan, the subtle and focused curry powder. The idea was to fold the meat and some cabbage braised with duck fat and smoked duck confit inside one of the buckwheat-scallion crepes, moo-shu style, but the crepes fell apart. At $78, the dish should have been flawless; eaten with a fork and a dash of regret, it was still extraordinarily good." Wells gives the restaurant two stars. [NYT]
Bloomberg's Ryan Sutton revisits Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens: "The Franks have condensed the menu. Gone is the forgettable sauerbraten. Now we have short ribs ($26), balancing barbecue-like smoke with tender braised beef. Amish pickled chicken remains, packing a clean poultry punch with just a hint of dill-like brine, the carnivorous equivalent of a dirty martini. No more strip steak. Instead Prime Meats offers a slightly cheaper Wagyu flank ($30). Skip the forgettable cut." Sutton gives the restaurant two and a half stars, an upgrade from the one star that he awarded in 2010. [Bloomberg]
Michael Kaminer gives three stars (out of a possible five) to The Fourth: "Wedding Soup ($12), the Italian-American staple, goes heavy on salt and light on substance, with just one chicken meatball bobbing in brownish broth with forlorn-looking greens. A soft poached egg, simple and elegant, is the highlight. Main courses do much better. Roasted pork belly ($24) means four lusciously fatty cubes whose caramel skin sparked rapturous comparisons to homemade pork rinds. Toasty hache of ramps and spinach ($9), ordered as a side, arrives lukewarm but appealing." [NYDN]
Steve Cuozzo checks out Harlem Shake on 124th Street: "At a hectic lunch hour, ever-smiling order-takers said I couldn't have tomato with grilled cheese because, 'We don't have tomatoes,' even though they appear in several dishes. The tomato-less sandwich was lame. They lost track of my order for a single hot dog. Customers grumbled, 'Where's my chili-cheese fries?' But on a less frenzied, rainswept night, the 'Harlem classic with cheese' burger — two thin sirloin patties with American cheese, pickles and the works on a potato roll — rang the bell despite the house way of griddling them well-done." Cuozzo gives the burger joint two stars. [NYP]
Ms. Gael Greene has a fantastic time at Michael White's Costata. On the sides: "Once we discover how irresistible Red Bliss potatoes can be, roasted and fried with chili flakes, and how compelling the artichokes alla giudia, the pastas are mostly abandoned. I like the semolina cavatelli with braised oxtail and Fontina better than the humble rigatoni alla Contadina, with firm little meatballs of prosciutto and mortadella. Appetizer portions would have been more prudent, I realize, seeing how much is uneaten. I'm definitely not leaving even half a Red Bliss." [Insatiable]
Adam Platt awards three stars to Wylie Dufresne's Alder, and two stars to Richard Kuo's Pearl & Ash. On the former: "At wd-50, in recent years, you could sense the chefs laboring mightily to come up with their next molecular-gastronomic trick, but at Alder, most of the cooking has a refreshingly seamless quality to it." [GS/NYM]
Joshua David Stein is impressed by ABC Cocina: "For every delicately balanced Jenga tower of flavor, there are aggressive go-ahead dishes for those left cold by subtlety. The maitake mushroom combines a woodsy meatiness, thanks to a mythopoeic sojourn in the wood-burning grill, and a tempering creaminess, thanks to a glop of cheese from a herd of Connecticut show goats, that even the most torpid can appreciate. Gooey spicy ham and cheese fritters ($10), tiny fried disco balls, are the Studio 54 of tapas, but much more welcoming." [Observer]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan finds several tasty dishes on the menu at Los Perros Locos on the Lower East Side, Billy Lyons checks out the Southern pop-up Lucy Roux in Williamsburg, and Restaurant Girl has a great meal at Topping House Rose in the Hamptons.
[Uncle Boons by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats editor J. Kenji Lopez-Alt approves of Uncle Boons in Nolita, the Immaculate Infatuation guys give an 8.2 rating to Old School Brooklyn, The Food Doc is pleased with his meal at ABC Cocina, Blondie tries the fish sandwich at Eastwood on the Lower East Side, NYC Foodie discovers Kotobuki in the East Village, Eat Big Apple stops by Little Fox Cafe on Kenmare Street, The Pink Pig files on the $80 tasting menu at Prospect, Joe DiStefano digs the cumin-lamb burgers as Chinger (stands for "Chinese burger") in Elmhurst, and NY Journal has a promising meal at Betony in Midtown.
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]
[Top photo: Montmartre by Krieger]