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Reviews for Sadelle's, La Chine, Oiji, and More

This week, Sietsema awards three stars to the vegetarian fare and cider at Wassail in the Lower East Side and Ryan Sutton has a nearly perfect brunch at Sadelle's. Here's a roundup of the rest of this week's big reviews:

[The dining room at La Chine]
[The dining room at La Chine]

Bloomberg's Tejal Rao has a great meal at La Chine in the Waldorf Astoria: "Though the Peking duck isn’t carved dramatically at the table, as it is at less expensive restaurants in New York, it’s excellent at La Chine. The meat is dark and sweet and very tender, served under a pile of perfect, crackling brown skin in shining, paper-thin pieces. On any given night, there is a bird on every table, with sheer pancakes kept supple in a steam basket, and wands of spring onion, cucumber, and cantaloupe." Two stars.

Pete Wells includes Cosme, Upland, Gabriel Kreuther, and Superiority Burger on his best of 2015 list. On the vegetarian burger joint he writes: "Anybody who doesn't understand why I gave two stars to this counter-service veggie-burger joint that barely seats six people isn't paying attention to what Brooks Headley and his crew are up to. Superiority Burger is the most radical restaurant in New York."

Upland Daniel Krieger/Eater

[Upland] Photo by Daniel Krieger

Wells also shares his top 10 restaurant dishes of 2015. Of Melissa Weller's sticky buns, the Times critic notes: "Buttered, yielding whorls of brioche dough are capped by a brown-sugar glaze that is, yes, adherent, but won't extract loose fillings. This sticky bun is such an improvement on the old standard that when I tasted it, I was almost overcome with gratitude for Melissa Weller, Sadelle's baker."

In a non-starred review of Sadelle's Steve Cuozzo writes: "Sadelle's is the most charming new, big-league restaurant in many a moon. After a long drought that saw a torrent of same-old Italian, French and American openings, this dual-personality brasserie from the Major Food Group is bracingly different."

[The counter at Sadelle's] Photo by Nick Solares

[The counter at Sadelle's] Photo by Nick Solares

Ligaya Mishan shares the ten places she enjoyed writing about the most in 2015. The critic writes: "Some of my favorite places to eat are not cozy in any but the most euphemistic sense. Quarters are tight, at times breathless. Tables, few or none. Chairs, not the kind that say, 'stay a while.' The only comfort is the food." Her list includes: The Food Sermon, Mr. Curry, Okonomi, and Koptiam.

Gael Greene visits Ryan Skeen's new home base, Theo's Restaurant and Oyster Bar: "At least till [chef] Skeen’s allegiance wanes, I know there will be delicious surprises, like tonight’s fresh and 'rarish' swordfish, almost sweet against the vegetal toss of Brussels sprouts, piquillo peppers, and maitake mushrooms under a ruffle of frisée. And the rich, dark, lardon-perfumed short rib bourguignon."

Amelia Lester loves the honey butter chips at Oiji: "They are wok-glazed, cayenne-spiced, and positioned, coyly, in a category of their own on the menu: in other words, you could have them as an appetizer or as a dessert, or, more likely, you will wind up doing both."

[Oiji] Photo by Bess Adler

[Oiji] Photo by Bess Adler

She may not be a fan of the name, but TONY's Christina Izzo finds little else to critique at Avant Garden: "A tumble of funghi is a similarly effective showcase, with beefy king oysters and maitakes boosted by a drag of mushroom puree shot delightfully with smoked macadamia that had more than one perplexed diner asking, 'Is there Gouda in this?' before being gently reminded that Gouda isn’t vegan." Four out of five stars.

With cold weather supposedly approaching, Zachary Feldman shares his choices for the five best New York Steakhouses. On the list: Keens, Peter Luger, Bowery Meat Company, Quality Eats, and M. Wells Steakhouse.

The Blogs: Restaurant Girl seriously digs the caviar service at Sadelle's, The Infatuation gives the wings at K-Town's Turntable Chicken and Jazz a 7.5 rating, and the Pink Pig has a very good first impression at Autre Kyo Ya.