While Eater's critics take the week off from reviewing, here's a roundup of the rest of the weeks big restaurant reviews:
Pete Wells is won over by Justin Smillie's cooking at Upland: "We weren't sure we would have the energy for the plate of duck wings, like confit with a bone handle. But the sparks of heat and citrus in the yuzu kosho vinaigrette on the skin kept us going until we began to think that Upland deserves a place in the annals of poultry wing cookery alongside the Anchor Bar in Buffalo." Two stars. [NYT]
Zachary Feldman thinks Marta misses the mark. Some of the pizzas are great, but, "Venture away from the pies and the menu underwhelms, all the more so given the caliber of the team in charge. Rabbit meatballs should be more forgiving to fork pressure. The meat is well seasoned, but had I been blind-tasting it I would've been hard-pressed to identify it as the woodland's cutest edible creature. That said, I'd much rather be served the bunny than the travesty of a roast chicken I endured, a sinful mass of charred, patchy skin and rubbery flesh hiding watery greens."
Michael Kaminer reviews Casa Del Chef, an upscale Queens bistro in humble clothing: "Fork-tender braised short ribs ($21), intensely meaty with satisfying chew, find frisky company in Chinese baby leeks and tiny potatoes...And a bouquet of Greenmarket produce breathes freshness and texture into a bowl of perfectly timed garganelli, a tubular pasta. Elegant, earthy Parmesan foam coats it all for body and comforting thickness." Four stars. [NYDN]
Steve Cuozzo likes Andrew Carmellini's latest, Little Park: "Soul-satisfying on a bitter night, agnolotti-like ravioli are filled with kale and ricotta and served in butternut squash purée. Pine nuts, thyme and grated pecorino cheese gracefully play off the main elements. Carmellini loves butternut squash: He thin-slices it into shells to enfold Vermont burrata and finishes them with nasturtium leaves, rosemary and orange." Three and a half stars. [NYP]
THE ELSEWHERE: Amelia Lester finds a mixed bag of simple dishes at Via Carota. Julia Moskin visits Harlem soul food newcomer BLVD Bistro. Gael Greene ventures to La Savane, an Ivory Coast and Senegalese restaurant.
THE BLOGS: Andrew Steinthal finds something missing at Vic's, Checkmark Eats prefers the basic pizzas at Prova, Restaurant Girl is impressed by Mu Ramen, Chopsticks + Marrow goes wild at Texas de Brazil, NYC Foodie runs down a couple early meals at Mission Chinese Food, NY Journal likes the food but takes issue with the drink prices at Birds & Bubbles.