Pete Wells likes many of the dishes that are coming out of Ignacio Mattos's kitchen at Estela. The critic thinks that the chef's food has a "mild case of weirdness," but it usually works:
The cooking is almost familiar, but not quite, and it's the little differences that get under your skin. The flatbread served with an excellent potato-thickened mash of salt cod is a rye matzo. And a whole squid and a spring onion, both griddled on a plancha and served with a reasonably traditional Romesco of red peppers and hazelnuts, look like a leathery, podlike alien creature alongside a blackened stem that snakes down the plate. The mild strangeness drew my attention to how deep and elemental the flavors of both dishes were.Wells give the restaurant an enthusiastic two star rating. [NYT]
Gael Greene revisits Turkish standby Sip Sak: "Those who have never eaten brains but are willing seem taken with the silken texture. I've loved brains in every guise I've ever tasted them and rarely see them. These are simple, unembellished, with a huddle of oil-cured olives alongside to fill up the plate. There are enough small rice-stuffed eggplants for everyone. We didn't order hummus with pide crisp, but it arrives anyway. It's reassuring to be right. The meze are mostly as wonderful as remembered." [Insatiable]
[Corvo Bianco by Krieger]
Alan Richman slams Elizabeth Falkner's newest endeavor: "Corvo Bianco is far from the only restaurant to fail at reinventing and fancifying Italian food. It's a regular occurrence, driven by a need for chefs to get noticed and restaurants to attract customers. Andrea Cobbe is a highly regarded chef, but I am not convinced the restaurant would have been a hit had he taken the job. After all, Elizabeth Falkner is quite accomplished herself." [GQ]
Daniel S. Meyer gives two stars to Luksus, the new Scandinavian-influenced restaurant in the back of Tørst: "Any tasting-menu affectation is diffused with the first snack—fried cipollini and tangy buttermilk dressing, a mood-lightening wink to onion rings and ranch....Pounded beef tartare is also crowned with a feat of haute junk-food ingenuity: a huge sour-cream-and-onion chip made by pureeing and dehydrating chicken stock, caramelized onions and tapioca. The chip attends nimbly to the beef, adding crunch to the soft flesh, and a spike of acid from the tingling vinegar powder dusted on top." [TONY]
[The Elm by Daniel Krieger]
Adam Platt awards three stars to Paul Liebrandt's The Elm in Williamsburg this week: "The skins of the bite-size Swiss-chard agnolotti are rolled with a faint trace of lobster, and the modestly priced duck breast ($20) is slow-roasted to a kind of pink, bubble-gum sweetness and brushed on its crispy, golden top with toasted honey. 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." [GS/NYM]
Michael Kaminer gives three stars out of five to Milk River, the new Prospect Heights restaurant from chef La-Niece Lyew: "Chicken and waffles ($18) feel neither Asian nor island, but Lyew's skills skew Southern, too. Though waffles arrive cold, they've got just the right chewy density. And the chicken provides a revelatory moment. Under crunchy skin, it's juicy, subtly seasoned, and pristine — an unlikely highlight of the menu. Chinese elements resurface in crispy fried sea bass ($27), a meaty filet topped with a heap of crunchy sea beans and kicked into gear by candied ginger and radishes. It's a simple, pretty plate humming with complex flavors." [NYDN]
[Distilled by Bess Adler]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan likes the refined comfort food at Distilled in Tribeca, Amelia Lester is charmed by Luksus in Greenpoint, and Ed Levine recommends the simple Neapolitan pies at Ribalta near Union Square.
[Juni by Daniel Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Chris Stang of Immaculate Infatuation gives an 8.7 rating to Betony in Midtown, the Pink Pig offers a detailed recap of a recent meal at Juni, Joe DiStefano shares a list of his seven favorite sandwiches in Queens, Goodies First pays a visit to The Elm in Williamsburg, NYC Foodie has a great experience at Han Dynasty, Eat Big Apple digs River Styx in Greenpoint, The Food Doc samples the sweets at Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., Chekmark Eats tries the seafood at The Boil, and NY Journal loves his meal at Sushi Dojo in the East Village.
· All Coverage of Reviews on Eater [~EN~]