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The Gorbals Surprises, Birds & Bubbles Disappoints, and More in This Week's Reviews

The critics take on fried chicken, Urban Outfitters, a mozzarella bar, and more.

The Gorbals
The Gorbals
Daniel Krieger

Yesterday Ryan Sutton gave four stars to Matthew Lightner's tasting menu restaurant, Atera. Now here's a roundup of what the other critics were talking about this week:

Pete Wells had mostly praise for Keith McNally's Bowery bistro, Cherche Midi: "The prime rib may be the only dish at Cherche Midi that could be accused of trying to make an impression. The dark, roasted edges had the irresistible intensity of the bark on great barbecued brisket, even on the night they were aggressively salted." He gives it two stars, and deems it better than Balthazar in its current state. [NYT]

Zachary Feldman ventures into Urban Outfitters, to check out the scene at Ilan Hall's LA import, The Gorbals. The menu is hit or miss, but: "Asterisked dishes signal the use of the wood oven, and for the most part what emerges from the flickering furnace delights: soft, charred beef tongue splashed with vibrant red-pepper romesco; roasted corn kernels dressed with pimiento butter and popcorn shoots for an upscale Southern take on esquites." [VV]

Joshua David Stein is disappointed by the bird at Birds & Bubbles: "There was no subtlety of flavor or spice, or even variegated texture. The deep fried coat was as dark, heavy and out of season as a mink stole on an August day. Over-fried, it tasted only of fry oil. The bird was edible but barely and scarcely enjoyable." Two stars. [NYO]

Stan Sagner reviews the mozzarella-focused Obica: "Slice into a snowy Burrata ($12) to release its decadently creamy core...The black truffle-topped version ($15) is almost too rich to bear. [Chef Enzo] Neri showcases the delicious basic mozzarella, plus earthy porcini mushrooms, in a pricey pizza ($18) that's worth every penny. It's one of the best pies in the city." Four stars. [NYDN]

Adam Platt is disappointed by the "dated" menu at elan: "Old favorites like tea-smoked salmon and pan-roasted chicken breast have their charms, although the natural barnyard goodness of the latter is dampened somewhat by a pour of soupy corn miso broth. Waltuck's much heralded General Tso's sweetbreads were a gummy disappointment, however, and so were other mash-up oddities, like the duck-and-foie gras burger." One star. [NY Mag]

Steve Cuozzo is impressed by Le Colonial's great improvements under new chef Ron Hsu: "Greaseless, crispy pork-shrimp-and-crab rolls rivaled any downtown. Fleshy snapper arrived lightly perfumed by the banana leaf it was steamed in. Hot oil sharpened essences of fish and vegetables." Two and a half stars. [NYP]

THE ELSEWHERE: Hannah Goldfield is impressed by the smoked meats at Hometown Barbecue. Ligaya Mishan dines on Georgian cuisine at Old Tbilisi Garden in Greenwich Village. Gael Greene rounds up her favorite restaurants to go on nights off from reviewing, including Gato, Red Farm, and Lincoln.

THE BLOGS: Chris Stang gives Schiller's Liquor Bar a measly 4.3, The Pink Pig has an in-depth examination of Botequim's feijoada, Goodies First rounds up Williamsburg favorites, from Zizi Limona to Pies 'N' Thighs, NYC Foodie loves Bunker, NY Journal is impressed by the food, if not the concept at Mulino a Vino, the Food Doc files a double fried chicken review of Root & Bone and Birds & Bubbles, and Chekmark Eats loves the Nomad.