In this week's New York Times restaurant review, critic Pete Wells awards Carbone, the new Greenwich Village restaurant from Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone, and Jeff Zalaznick, three stars. Wells seems to appreciate most everything about the place and finds that Carbone and Torrisi have done to the red sauce joint what director Quentin Tarantino does to B-movies, "bringing back the punch-in-the-guts thrills of a genre that everybody else sees as uncultured and a little embarrassing, while exposing the sophistication that was always lurking there."
Wells feels that most of Carbone's takes on dishes from the Italian-Amerian canon are executed in "the way you always hoped [they] would be," but he does have a few criticisms. Among them:
There are also, in this movie, some lapses in taste and judgment. Fried broccoli rabe is locked inside some of the heaviest, greasiest batter I've ever tasted. Carbone's tiramisù, a wedge of layer cake with mascarpone between Marsala-soaked spongecake, is too wet and too boozy, a case where the middlebrow original is better than the highbrow makeover... Strangest of all is something called Chinese chicken, which tastes as if Mr. Torrisi and Mr. Carbone were trying to recreate something from Chinatown Night at their college cafeterias.
Overall, though, the review praises the restaurant's choice to not look abroad for legitimacy and instead embrace what we have right here. After a series of initial reviews that the restaurateurs themselves admitted were polarizing, the Wells assessment is about as close as it gets to a dream scenario for the restaurant.