Although both of Eater's critics were off yesterday, here's a roundup of the rest of the week's big reviews:
[Grindhaus by Krieger]
Pete Wells visits the tiny Red Hook restaurant Grindhaus, and is a fan of chef Aaron Taber's cooking style:
"He makes the kind of earnest, fashionably austere, handsomely arranged food that is signified on menus by sans-serif lists of ingredients, with no capital letters, verbs, articles or hint of how one thing may relate to the next. In some restaurants, they don't relate. At Grindhaus, they do...A buttery pie shell was just big enough to contain a thick, soft wheel of rutabaga held in place by a layer of puréed carrots. The lemonlike bite of raw sorrel and the true citrus of grapefruit acted as welcome rays of sunlight breaking into this ode to the root cellar."Wells gives the restaurant two stars. [NYT]
Michael Kaminer visits the Fat Radish's Upper East Side sibling, The East Pole: "Chef Nicholas Wilber's Peekytoe crab and avocado toast ($15) will convince you these components make the best combo since chocolate and peanut butter. A generous mound of clean, creamy crab provides elegant contrast with crunchy sourdough toast and luscious mashed avocado...And a side dish of rainbow-hued heirloom carrots ($11), marinated in honey and cumin, actually stopped the conversation. Slightly sweet, still crunchy, and almost meaty, the rabbit food was revelatory. Mains at The East Pole are more meat-focused — and less intriguing. Protein is almost a letdown after hitting such herbivorous heights." Three stars. [NYDN]
[Beautique by Krieger]
Zachary Feldman finds plenty of upselling, but good food at Midtown's swankiest new addition, Beautique: "Scallops with foie gras sabayon might be the most straight-forward seafood entrée, the sweet, meaty surf dragged further into turf territory with shiitake mushrooms. Just as enjoyable is a brick of king salmon, confited and served with lively buttermilk vinaigrette, dill pickles, and potato chips. Carnivores should seek out the lamb mixed grill, which allocates bacon, sausage, chop, loin, and breast to pair with a minted olive relish and roasted tomatoes. In a progressive touch gone awry, the seared duck breast with peaches harbors a scattering of cocoa crumbs, which tasted like a grain-based energy bar." [VV]
Joshua David Stein is entirely won over by the Russ & Daughters Cafe: "No meat is here, but its absence is not felt as a loss—how could it be when gaspe nova smoked salmon, silky and thin as a pair of angel's panties, with a bagel and schmear (The Classic, $16) arrives with sliced sturgeon so sweet it's called candy (Mensch, $22)? Russ & Daughters has it all: Chilled borscht that puts Veselka's to shame, small knishes of great tenderness that trump Yonah Schimmel's, matzoh brei that would make my grandfather kvell. For the Phi Beta Kappa frat boy there's Schmaltz and a Shot, a rectangle of herring and a swallow of vodka, served just the way Alexander Schneider, the great Litvak violinist, used to enjoy his in the backroom of Russ & Daughters in the 1950s." Five stars. [NYO]
Steve Cuozzo visits two parkside restaurants, Fornino in Brooklyn Bridge Park and The Pavilion in Union Square Park. He's disappointed in the views from the latter: "[T]he restaurant's design worsens its estrangement from everything of interest nearby. Although the high-roofed pavilion makes a pleasant breezeway on a sultry afternoon or evening, the view toward 14th Street from its 90-seat, elevated dining floor is interrupted at diner's-eye height by installations of fake grass and a mirror over the bar. Even through the noble, south-facing archway, you see only treetops, not the grand sprawl of the park itself. " The food is also mostly misses. [NYP]
Adam Platt and family find many great dishes but a lot of richness at Ivan Ramen: "Some of Orkin's sophisticated, gut-busting creations are not quite as successful as others, of course, and the food has such an overwhelming, one-note richness to it that if you're not careful, you'll find yourself mainlining tubes of Mylanta in the middle of the night. The Platt ladies wouldn't let me finish the delectably creamy remains of my cheese mazemen noodles (or the almost as delectable spicy red-chile ramen), and when a platter of crunchy whole prawns slathered in Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise arrived at the table, they furtively pushed it to the side." Three stars. [NY Mag]
[Barchetta by Krieger]
THE ELSEWHERE: In Tables for Two, Amelia Lester is disappointed by Dave Pasternack's Barchetta. Ligaya Mishan finds great Thai food at Khao Kang in Elmhurst. Gael Greene checks out the "generic" revamp of the Hurricane Club, General Assembly.
[The Black Ant by Bess Adler]
THE BLOGS: Chris Stang of The Infatuation is luke warm on Barchetta while Andrew Steinthal slams Tavern on the Green, The Pink Pig finds serious Mexican food at The Black Ant, NY Journal is impressed by Batard, and Chekmark Eats likes the ice cream but not the service at Morgenstern's.