This week, Pete Wells awards two stars to sprawling Flushing Cantonese restaurant Lake Pavilion. He's especially fond of the crab dishes: "If Dungeness crabs are in season and you do not have a life-threatening allergy, please order them. Get them stir-fried with ginger and scallions, their cracked legs and deep-dish bodies sticky with a sauce that will end up everywhere while you pull the meat from the shells: on your lips and nose and thumbs and probably your earlobes." He recommends skipping the dim sum carts, and ordering off the menu. [NYT]
Ryan Sutton gives three stars to the Torrisi team's pricey new seafood parlor, ZZ's Clam Bar: "No knife necessary for the $56 tuna carpaccio with foie gras, evoking the famous Le Bernardin pairing. Sorry, ZZ's is better. The shaved duck liver melts like ice cream over the soft tuna, sweet scallops, sweeter razor clams and ultra-rich bone marrow. It's a brilliant surf-and-turf. At least the clams are only $1.50 a pop (when the market allows). The littlenecks are briny. The top necks are tender. Both are fleshy, pink and go perfectly with a cocktail sauce chaser. That's one way to enjoy a Champagne setting on a beer budget." Sutton gives special praise to barman Thomas Waugh, who he thinks "is mixing New York's best drinks." [Bloomberg]
Steve Cuozzo finds a lot to like at Khe-Yo in Tribeca: "Pork belly, shrimp and peanut butter are rolled into crisp rice- and wheat-flour wrappers; you enfold them in bibb lettuce along with bamboo shoots, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. If it's too tricky, savor them separately. Coconut rice, kafir lime sausage and chilies are meant to be rolled into iceberg lettuce, but the leaves are too small for the job. Just stir them up and thrill to the smoky, thin-sliced pork and crunchy rice balls." Cuozzo does note that the restaurant "falls down on dessert." [NYP]
Alan Richman gives two stars to his buddy Eric Ripert's favorite new neighborhood restaurant, Tanoshi Sushi: "The monkfish liver, not ordinarily a favorite of mine, was superb, almost certainly because it came in ponzu sauce and everything tastes better in ponzu sauce. Bigeye tuna was topped with a condiment called moromi miso, fruity tasting and so interesting that Ripert said, 'You're going to see that at Le Bernardin.'" [GQ]
[Khe-Yo by Daniel Krieger]
Daniel S. Meyer awards two stars out of five to Khe-Yo: "After devouring a bowl of earthy chili prawns, use thick triangles of ginger-scallion Texas toast, empty shrimp heads or whatever means necessary to lap up the heady, butter-pumped red curry. Or chase salty, soy-braised Berkshire pork belly with gently sweet summer-gourd broth. 'Bang bang' sauce—the striking house condiment of lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and ample Thai chili—takes up permanent residence on the table, alongside a basket of sticky rice, which you pinch off in balls with your fingers." [TONY]
[Umami Burger by Krieger]
The Robs give three Underground Gourmet stars each to Umami Burger and Sweetgreen. On the former: "[T]he fact of the matter is that the Umami burger lives up to the hype. The signature Original comes on a bun that's properly soft and squishy yet oddly clammy to the touch, as if it had been reheated like a 7-Eleven microwave ham-and-cheese. But its loosely packed six-ounce patty is abundantly juicy and beautifully cooked with a fantastic crust." [GS/NYM]
Joshua David Stein files on Luksus, the new Greenpoint restaurant from Daniel Burns: "For me, the biggest gift Luksus offers is that Mr. Burns always makes it worthwhile to look, to do to the work of seeing. He is the model for this: He sees not the ramp, but its caper; not the fennel, but its flower. We saw a chicken, and he saw an oyster. It makes you want to peer at everything differently, to spill out onto Manhattan Avenue and look at the storefronts with new eyes, to walk down the stairs and gaze drunkenly in the mirror, happy not to see the same old face." [The Observer]
Stan Sagner awards four stars out of five to Milkflower, a new pizzeria in Astoria: "Bruschetta-like 'toasts' ($4) deftly marry unexpected flavors in refreshing ways. A combo of corn, fennel, jalapeño and tarragon reads like a prime candidate for a flavor brawl. But despite cramming them together atop a small raft of grilled bread, the perfectly balanced ingredients bring out the best in one another. It's both surprising and delicious. Another toast, the sigh-inducing 'guacamole' of pea, ricotta and lavender flower just makes sense from the first bite." [NYDN]
[Charlie Bird by Bess Adler]
THE ELSEWHERE: Hannah Goldfield of Tables for Two likes the vegetable-focused fare served at the Chez Jose pop-up in Williamsburg, Gael Greene is impressed by Charlie Bird in Soho, and Ligaya Mishan discovers that Kura in the East Village is serving some great sushi and kappo cuisine.
[Sweetgreen by Daniel Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Serious Eats editor Max Falkowitz likes the salads at Sweetgreen, Chris Stang of Immaculate Infatuation gives a 7.7 rating to Glaze Teriyaki Grill in Midtown, the Pink Pig loves the homemade pastas at Giano on East Seventh Street, Goodies First wants to try more dishes at Larb Ubol, Joe DiStefano files a recap of what he ate during jury duty, Eat Big Apple digs the new menu at Circolo45, Chekmark Eats gives a thumbs up to Pig and Khao, NYC Foodie has a solid meal at The Cleveland, and NY Journal enjoys his dinner at Enduro in Midtown East.