Pete Wells reviews Racines NY, a Tribeca wine bar imported from Paris, where the food surpasses simple bar snacks: "[Frédéric] Duca served a length of barely seared wild salmon, the raw flesh inside the intense orange-red of a persimmon, with a scoop of cucumber sorbet and a schmear of warm cauliflower cream. These are two of the mildest vegetables in existence, so combining them would not seem like a formula for excitement, but it was like watching summer and winter meet for the first time. Raw veal with warm mayonnaise probably doesn't sound like a bell-ringer, either. But with pine nuts and tarragon folded into cubes of meat, it made a delicious tartare." Two stars. [NYT]
Adam Platt is mostly impressed with his meals at Bâtard: "[T]he three-course dinner ... in my case began with a bowl of minty, nicely textured pea soup that was scattered with little croutons of crispy sweetbreads and contained crumblings of salsify hidden in its depths. There were also crinkly tubes of zucchini blossoms stuffed with bits of fresh lobster on the table, seared slices of ocean trout dabbed with crème fraîche, and a version of artichoke barigoule so technically perfect that it caused my vegetable-snob wife to put down her fork and practically clap with glee." Three stars. [NY Mag]
Susannah Skiver Barton reviews beer bar Dirck the Norseman for the Village Voice: "Several dishes draw flavor and tenderness from long cooking times, including fat-melted short ribs, whose sauce leans toward overly sweet. Pork knuckle, equally tender, brings a mountain of meat braised in Riegele Kellerbier and benefits from house-made pickles that provide a fitting foil for the piggy richness. Quicker-cooking mussels in a tomato-beer broth are plump and flavorful but poorly presented, arriving in a deep pot with no bowl in which to stow the empty shells." [VV]
[Bar Primi by Bess Adler]
Time Out critic Christina Izzo surveys the pasta scene at Bar Primi: "Fork prongs battle over shared bowls of tender orecchiette ($16), turned creamy from the welcome addition of chickpeas to broccoli rabe and fennely sausage, and country-green spinach cavatelli ($17), a wine-rich veal bianco sauce clinging lustily to the pasta's seal. A tangle of linguine ($14), sucker-punched with heady four-clove garlic and finished with crispy bread crumbs, is so heart-stoppingly good that if someone doesn't want to snog you after, reconsider the relationship." Four stars. [TONY]
Stan Sagner reviews Curry Hill newcomer Kailash Parbat, where the service is rocky but the food is good: "Pav Bhaji ($11.50), simply described as a 'favourite Indian street food,' is fashioned from mashed potatoes and vegetables. It emerges as an unexpectedly tasty dead ringer for a good ol' sloppy joe. This transformation of meat-free ingredients is pure alchemy. Yeasty little Parkerhouse-like pav buns are put to good use, sopping up every drop of the succulent sauce. Bhugal Bhee Aloo ($13.50), a toothier concoction of steamed potato and lotus root in an earthy, cumin-infused tomato masala, deliciously demonstrates how, in able hands, similar ingredients can yield vastly different results." Three stars. [NYDN]
Steve Cuozzo slams Academia Barilla, the dried pasta company's fast-casual Midtown spot: "A sign says chefs 'train at the academy,' but hardworking cooks evidently misheard 'al dente' as 'al cemente.' Undercooked, understirred orecchiette stuck together in half-dozen-ear clumps. Eerily glowing fusilli montanara, like no Italian dish I've had between Sicily and the Swiss border, 'looks like Campbell's cream of chicken poured over pasta,' my friend said. It should taste so good. Watery minestrone recalled the midnight diner variety." He gives it just half a star. [NYP]
[Grand Banks by Daniel Krieger]
THE ELSEWHERE: Hannah Goldfield of Tables for Two checks out two floating restaurants: Grand Banks and The Water Table. Gael Greene is impressed by Bâtard. Ligaya Mishan especially digs the small plates at The Gander.
[Bacchanal by Bess Adler]
THE BLOGS: Chris Stang of The Infatuation gives Decoy a 7.9, while calling Runner & Stone more of a neighborhood spot,NYC Foodie finds one of the best "bang for your buck tasting menus" at The Eddy, NY Journal finds the food at Bacchanal a little boring, if well-executed, The Food Doc loves the Nomad Bar, and Chekmark Eats samples the Japanese curry at Curry Ya.
[Top photo: Batard by Krieger]