New York critic Adam Platt is somewhat impressed by Paul Liebrandt's Williamsburg foray, The Elm. He's surprised by the location, and writes that the room feels "less like a raffish outer-borough destination than like the breakfast lounge of a second-tier Midtown tourist hotel." And yet, the restaurant has its charms:
This kind of precious, high-wire cooking may take some getting used to for the locals around McCarren Park, but the Manhattanites at my table could barely contain their glee. "I can't tell you how delicious this is," cried my wife as she dug in to a gently cooked mélange of Greenmarket vegetables called Summer Garden (on the menu's "Share" section), which the waiters hoisted to our table in a glittering Le Creuset pot. Other items from the "Share" section included a serving of wet, blandly denatured Kiev-style chicken breast, and a slow-roasted, gourmet version of pork belly (garnished, in the Iberian style, with pan con tomate), which is soft enough to eat with a spoon but lacks any real barnyard taste.Overall, Platt gives the restaurant three stars. The official breakdown: "Two stars for the accomplished, un-Brooklyn savory menu and another for the booze and desserts."
· Platt: The Elm Is Liebrandt's Fairy-Tale Forest [GS/NYM]
· All Coverage of The Elm [~ENY~]
[The Elm by Daniel Krieger.]