This week Pete Wells reviews Tuome, the American/Chinese restaurant in the East Village that just earned four stars from Robert Sietsema last week. Although he thinks the dishes aren't all the most creative in form, he's impressed by chef Thomas Chen's culinary skills:
He has terrific control over salt, spices, texture and contrast, weaving them together until you ask, why hasn't anyone done this before? Adding slick duck fat to packets of Cantonese sticky rice steamed in lotus leaves seems like an obvious good idea. So does the extra crackle he puts into the Chinese sausage bits to save the rice from gummy monotony. But they aren't obvious until you taste Mr. Chen's version.
He gives the restaurant, which had been off to a relatively quiet start until recently, a solid two stars.