Adam Platt files a double review this week on two of the summer's biggest newcomers: Keith McNally's Cherche Midi and Carlos Suarez's Provençal restaurant, Claudette. Some may remember that the last time the critic reviewed a McNally restaurant, he gave Cherche Midi's predecessor, Pulino's, an unflattering one star review and McNally was not at all pleased. After such scathing words on both sides, how does the revamp fare in Platt's review? Will McNally have to write another letter?
Here's Platt on the good and the bad of Cherche Midi:
The newest McNally outlet may not have the manic, buzzy energy of Balthazar in its prime, or the old-world, wiseguy grandeur of Minetta Tavern, but the nicely aged prime-rib burger is almost as satisfying as its vaunted predecessor at Minetta, and it's slathered, for an extra trencherman's kick, with bacon-and-shallot marmalade and melted Gruyère. Some of the entrées we sampled were underwhelming (the bland chicken breast, the livery-tasting roasted foie gras), but the skate wing meunière (served "bone in") and steak au poivre (made with filet mignon) are adequate versions of these old brasserie staples.Ultimately, he finds nothing surprising or new about Cherche Midi, but is not entirely disappointed by that. He's also impressed with Suarez's transformation of the Claudette space, and recommends the lighter dishes on the menu. Both restaurants get two stars.
· Cherche Midi and Claudette Bring Savoir Faire and Classic Cooking to Two Ill-Fated Downtown Corners [NY Mag/GS]
· All Coverage of Cherche Midi [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Claudette [~ENY~]