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Pete Wells Waffles on Blenheim, Plus Two Takes on Dirty French, and More in This Week's Reviews

A roundup of what the critics are talking about this week, from the excellent pub food at Long Island Bar, to the divisive frisee salad at Dirty French.

Dirty French
Dirty French
Daniel Krieger

Yesterday Ryan Sutton reviewed Aquavit, the long-standing Scandinavian restaurant newly under the helm of chef Emma Bengtsson, while Robert Sietsema found a hidden gem in Tuome. Now here's a roundup of the rest of the week's reviews:

Pete Wells was impressed by much of Ryan Tate's cooking at Blenheim, though he found the service lacking: "Alaskan king crab meat had been made almost as sweet and tender as some tropical fruit, but the midnight funk of squid ink sauce brought it back to the sea. With dense roasted chanterelles and wands of naturally pickled sea bean scattered around the plate, this was an appetizer you could go quietly crazy over." One star. [NYT]

Zachary Feldman visits the tiny, clubby Kitty's Canteen, where he finds hits and misses on the Southern-Jewish menu: "Latkes land on the table over-fried, the shriveled pancakes accompanied by splats of applesauce and sour cream, as if from an old-school deli that has given up. But brook trout ("Kitty's Catch") over sunchokes sports beautifully crisp skin and homey flavor. There's also properly melting brisket and a loosely packed burger covered in schmaltz onion soubise." [VV]

Michael Kaminer reviews Long Island Bar, where an Alinea vet is serving his versions of retro bar food: "Any bar worth its tequila should kill it with burgers...and Long Island Bar does. Martinez slaps Fleischer's beef on a soft white bun with pungent sour pickles, cheddar and a creamy tomato drizzle called 'Fancy Sauce.' It's accompanied by an Everest of perfectly crispy fries that even a group couldn't finish." Three stars. [NYDN]

Tejal Rao reviews the Torrisi's French blockbuster, Dirty French: "Some of the best dishes are closest to their bistro counterpart, and I fangirled a bit over the frisee salad with big pieces of sweet, salty pork because it was finished so elegantly at the table. It came with a skewer of hot charred chicken giblets and green peppers and so much tarragon, and the spry French waiter made a show of sliding the giblets off into the leaves, breaking the egg with a silver spoon, and turning everything around to coat it properly before serving us." Two stars. [Bloomberg]

Steve Cuozzo pans Urbo Loft, one part of a restaurant megaplex in Times Square, mostly for its high prices: "'Charred octopus, sweet potato, fermented pear, almond milk' turned out to be a microscopic crescent of items with barely enough cephalopod to fill a tablespoon. After downing four measly morsels of $30 monkfish tail, I was as hungry as when I arrived." Two stars [NYP]

Christina Izzo notes a "lack of spark" at Dirty French, compared to the other restaurants of the Torrisi empire: "A server lugs a silver tub spotlighting the oysters du jour, but skip the haughty slurps for velvety lamb carpaccio ($17) kissed with cumin, eggplant and fig. Frisée salad ($18), pierced with a skewer of sizzling giblets, is an effigy of the brasserie classic but pales when Carbone's monumental Caesar salad creeps back into memory." Three stars. [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Amelia Lester reviews Brooklyn Beet Company, a new Bay Ridge restaurant from the owners of Korzo. Ligaya Mishan dines on spicy Thai at Paet Rio in Elmhurst. Gael Greene loves the nine-course tasting menu at Aldea.

THE BLOGS: Chris Stang has a "feel good" experience at Meadowsweet, The Pink Pig runs down a meal at Congee Village, Chopsticks + Marrow writes a love letter to the McGriddle, Goodies First samples all the empanadas at La Nueva Bakery, NYC Foodie dines at Dumpling Galaxy, NY Journal has good food in a problematic space at the new Park Avenue Autumn, Chekmark Eats is pleasantly surprised by the Thai at Ngam, and Restaurant Girl loves her meal at The Back Room at the new Park Hyatt.