Yesterday Ryan Sutton filed on Walker Stern and Joe Ogrodnek's Carroll Gardens restaurant, Dover. Now here are the rest of the week's big reviews:
Pete Wells find that the Russ & Daughters Cafe lives up to the standards of its 100 year-old predecessor, with some new additions: "[T]ake the new line of dishes from the Eastern European Jewish canon that are not sold at the store, like the baby knishes stuffed with potatoes and caramelized onions. Over the years the New York knish has become so dense it could be used as an anchor for a small boat. These little specimens are light and fluffy, and they taste not like flour and grease but like baked potatoes." Two stars. [NYT]
Joshua David Stein is thoroughly disappointed with Montana's Trail House: "Alas, there's just the sort of generic Southern food you find at nearly every restaurant with 'The' or '&' in the name: a totally underwhelming fried chicken, leg and thigh both as greasy as a teenage boy's T-zone, offered for $18. A plate of oily "seasonal" vegetables called a 'Summer Harvest Plate' ($17) consists of zucchini, squash and greens. Calling that a vegetable plate is like calling a bunch of honeydew a fruit salad. " Zero stars. [NYO]
[The Gorbals by Krieger]
Hot on the heels of the restaurant's opening, Michael Kaminer files on Ilan Hall's cooking at The Gorbals: "[T]he chicken schnitzel, despite a cartoon-like talon at one end, was a classic. The massive, thin-pounded breast was bound by greaseless, crunchy breading. A single roasted heirloom-cauliflower floret and smooth, mellow potato-cream puree provide elegant, earthy support. Hall's most staid-looking plate turns out anything but. Sea bass-like wreckfish ($14) — so named because the creature hangs out around shipwrecks — yields smoky notes from Hall's wood-fired oven. Yogurt, spiked with cayenne, nearly rockets off the plate. It gave us one of many "wow" moments." Three stars. [NYDN]
Zachary Feldman is a fan of the tasting menu offered at Box Kite, the tiny coffee shop by day, restaurant by night: "[F]atty slabs of cured mackerel roost atop brittle, fried reindeer lichen nests like Viking sushi. The morsels glisten with a supple, musky cep egg yolk sauce that's a brilliant textural counterpoint to both the crisp flora and toothsome fish. Just as risky is Slojkowski and Gulino's elegant, austere surf and turf: barely cooked arctic char punctuated by raw foie gras, an asterisk of trout roe, and brown-butter sage cream sauce. It's a dish that ably pits a battery of fatty, salty artillery against a common enemy — subtle seafood." [VV]
[Barchetta by Krieger]
Steve Cuozzo pans Dave Pasternack's new venture, Barchetta: "Where Esca's inspired crudo pairings tapped oils and herbs with unerring precision to frame and focus the catch, Barchetta's seem based on 'Hey! What's lying around?' Raw bronzed fennel did no harm to lush opah 'moonfish.' But I'm stumped over what crushed pistachios are meant to do for oily swordfish, or jalapeño and peaches for diver scallops, or sunflower oil for halibut cheeks — the last, like many specimens, cut too thick by a wobbly blade (choices are served in 'flights' of six for $28)." One and a half stars. [NYP]
THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan likes the little Japanese cafe, Brooklyn Ball Factory. Shauna Lyon checks out the scene at Rockaway Beach Surf Club for Tables for Two. Gael Greene enjoys a meal at Awadh.
[Cherche Midi by Nick Solares]
THE BLOGS: The Infatuation awards 7.2 stars to French Louie, The Pink Pig is luke warm on élan, Goodies First has a "fun" meal at The Gorbals, NYC Foodie loves the burger at Cherche Midi, and NY Journal weighs Decoy against Peking Duck House.