Pete Wells files a double whammy this week with reviews of two veteran restaurants of the Flatiron, A Voce Madison and BLT Fish. Both restaurants received three stars from Frank Bruni in their first Times reviews, and while Wells finds that neither has stood the test of time completely, A Voce does fare better than BLT Fish. On the latter:
"[T]here are...sauces that don't click, like the washed-out mandarin emulsion with halibut, or the dashi broth with scallops and nine kinds of mushrooms, which proved that more umami is not always the answer. There are odd pairings, like the curried oxtail stew served with smooth shrimp that refused to cling to the sauce. There is inattention to detail, like the crunchy, gritty morels in a thin, salty asparagus soup, or the branzino left to bake inside its salt crust until it was slightly dry and tough."In both cases, the decline seems to come from the loss of the opening chef (Andrew Carmellini at A Voce, Laurent Tourondel at BLT Fish). Wells gives A Voce Madison two stars, and BLT Fish just one star.
· Stepping Into the Role of the Ringmaster [NYT]
· All Coverage of BLT Fish [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of A Voce Madison [~ENY~]