As noted yesterday, Pete Wells finds some hits and misses on the menu at Mission Cantina. On the tacos: "Fermenting the pineapple in tacos al pastor gave it a tingly acidity, but the pork belly beneath it was flabby and flavorless. The shrimp in a mixed marriage with fried beef tripe tasted heavily of iodine. Carnitas had been disassembled into little fragments of cracklings folded into excessively mild pork shoulder. The parts didn't go back together again, like a clock taken apart by a 5-year-old." Wells gives the restaurant one star. [NYT]
Steve Cuozzo gives three stars to Sushi Nakazawa in the West Village: "An exquisitely calibrated bluefin tuna progression (lean, to medium, to fatty) reminds you why the threatened variety is so prized. Yuzu and chili pepper liberate a near-live scallop's elusive mineral essence. The paste between scallop and rice, barely perceptible at first, steals over your palate like an advancing mist, while the bivalve's sensuous texture seduces as irresistibly as original sin." Cuozzo thinks that Nakazawa is not, however, worthy of a coveted fourth star, because "the house can seem in a perpetual rush." [NYP]
Michael Kaminer awards three stars out of five to Saul Bolton's new version of Saul in the Brooklyn Museum: "Yes, Vermont pork three ways ($32) delivers primal pleasures with a juicy chop, lush pork-belly cube, and tiny blob of earthy kidney, but the plate has a by-the-numbers feel. And yes, the dry-aged squab ($32) is part of a faultless palette that includes the bloody bird, rust-colored roasted carrots, tart white yogurt, and sepia bulgur — but somehow it forms a less-than-satisfying whole." [NYDN]
[China Blue by Bess Adler]
Daniel S. Meyer is a fan of China Blue in Tribeca: "The delicate sweetness of Shanghainese cuisine emerges in fried slivers of Asian swamp eel ($14), crunchy and saucy like a fisherman's take on General Tso's. Gelatinous dongpo pork belly ($19) is poached, soaked in rock candy and soy, and steamed; a bowtied waiter tucks it into fluffy steamed buns tableside." The takeaway: "China Blue doesn't blow up tired paradigms, just makes a few subtle nips and tucks to the form, yet it's enough to make a meal here feel entirely refreshing." [TONY]
[Villard Michel Richard by Bess Adler]
THE ELSEWHERE: Gael Greene loves her meals at Rafele in the West Village, the New Yorker's Sarah Larson has a great time at Attaboy on the Lower East Side, Ligaya Mishan samples the Nepalese cuisine at Dhaulagiri Kitchen in Jackson Heights, and John Mariani thinks that Villard Michel Richard "ranks with the finest of New York's fine dining rooms right now."
[The Regency Bar and Grill by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Max Falkowitz digs Hunan Manor in Midtown East, The Food Doc samples Danny Bowien's Mission Cantina burritos, Zachary Feldman is impressed by Harlem newcomer Mountain Bird, the Ping Pig likes the tapas at Donostia in the East Village, the Immaculate Infatuation boys are disappointed by Fung Tu in Chinatown, NYC Foodie has a killer meal at M. Wells Steakhouse, Goodies First thinks that Emily in Clinton Hill is off to a good start, Joe DiStefano tries the momos at Woodside Cafe, and NJ Journal has a dismal dinner at The Regency Bar and Grill.
[Top photo: Mission Cantina by Krieger]
· All Coverage of Reviews [~ENY~]