Yesterday Ryan Sutton was less than impressed by the bar food at the Nomad Bar, while Robert Sietsema was very impressed with the health food at Dimes. Now here's a roundup of the rest of the week's big reviews:
Pete Wells weighs in on the noodles and more at Ivan Ramen: "The mazemens, a form Mr. Orkin has mastered more fully than anyone in the city, justify the price. (The red-hot cold mazemen, dressed with salty, spicy sesame and accessorized with two prawns, should settle any doubts.) The soup ramens do not, at least not yet. Several times, the broth arrived well below the scalding heat that gives ramen its temporal dimension." Two stars. [NYT]
Zachary Feldman is impressed by Koren Grieveson's Provencal-style fare at Claudette: "a well-dressed crowd delves into brittle ratatouille tarts, the bright, soft vegetables supported by short-crust pastry shells. A lamb-and-asparagus salad, with gamy meat and crisp stalks set against sprightly sherry vinaigrette, drags us back to spring. And marine starters, like a spicy jumble of chickpeas and charred baby octopus, outshine the crusty Tunisian loaves." [VV]
Adam Platt files a double review of Cherche Midi and Claudette. On the former: "The most inventive dish in [a] stately procession of golden oldies was a bowl of chilled cauliflower soup, served as a special with a single fried oyster on top, but the most satisfying, by far, was that old brasserie warhorse steak tartare, which was the color of faded pink roses and folded with capers, chopped cornichons, and a generous spoonful of egg yolk."
[Thelma on Clinton by Krieger]
Michael Kaminer visits Thelma on Clinton, the revamp of East Village standby Salt Bar: "Witty small plates make up in warmth what they miss in precision. So if deep-ruby lamb carpaccio with frisee and mint ($13) lacks primal earthiness, you can almost forgive it after seeing the winningly rough-hewn presentation.
If diminutive honey-glazed dates wrapped in bacon ($12) come across as cloying — the pork's not potent enough as a savory anchor — their homespun cuteness wins you over." Three stars. [NYDN]
Time Out critic Christina Izzo finds a menu of "McNally greatest hits" at Cherche Midi: "Appetizers fare better than the mains. A vibrant board of pickled vegetables, nubs of salty salami and edible flowers served with garlic aioli makes for a fresh and stunning, albeit wickedly overpriced, kickoff ($19). You'll also be sticker-shocked by the pan-roasted foie gras ($26), with its solitary slab of liver, twee house-made brioche, and spartan tumbling of rhubarb—that is, until you load the little loaf with that warm spread and tart stalks." Two stars. [TONY]
[élan by Krieger]
[Gramercy Tavern by Krieger]
THE BLOGS: Chris Stang gives Gramercy Tavern a glowing 9.0, Chopsticks + Marrow assesses the Peking duck feast at Decoy, the Pink Pig is unimpressed by Cherche Midi, Goodies First enjoys a meal at Batard, NYC Foodie checks out élan, NY Journal dines at Barchetta, Chekmark Eats loves Russ & Daughters Cafe, and Local Bozo gives a rundown of the Mission Chinese pop-up at Mile End.