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Even Though It's 'Unfocused', Pete Wells Gives Élan Two Stars

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The Times critic finds a mixed bag of dishes at Élan, but he's still on team David Waltuck.

Daniel Krieger

This week Pete Wells reviews David Waltuck's comeback restaurant Élan, and takes more kindly to it than some of the other critics (including Eater's own Ryan Sutton) who have visited so far:

[Waltuck] doesn't have to ask himself whether a pair of pot stickers filled with mashed potatoes can be a four-star dish. That's a boring question. The point is that finding potatoes inside crimped pan-fried dumplings surrounded by a haze of shaved summer truffles is a funny, delicious surprise. He must be playing, too, when he stirs sea urchin into a deep bowl of guacamole. Avocado doesn't need extra creaminess, but it takes extremely well to briny seafood, as you find out when you spread some on a grease-free taro chip.

Not every dish hits the mark, and a lot of the more talked-about dishes — including the duck burger and the General Tso's sweetbreads — fall flat. But nonetheless, he gives the restaurant two stars.


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