Eater's critics are off this week, but here's a roundup of the rest of the week's restaurant reviews:
Despite some reservations, Pete Wells maintains Eleven Madison Park's four star review: "What Eleven Madison feeds your intellect can have the value of junk food, but what it feeds your mouth, stomach and spirit is something else. The restaurant tries as hard as any I know to bring delight to the table with every course. It succeeds so often that only the most determinedly grumpy souls could resist." The restaurant remains one of the six New York restaurants with four stars from the Times.
Tejal Rao is charmed by Santina, the Torrisi team's beachy Italian blockbuster: "Start with cecina, an extremely polished rendition of the simple Ligurian chickpea pancake, served here as a thin, flexible crepe with a lacy edge. It's nothing fancy, but with a little raw tuna dressed in chili oil, or precisely cooked shrimp with crunchy bread crumbs and ginger, it's fantastic." Three stars. [Bloomberg]
Joshua David Stein loves Andrew Carmellini's newest, Little Park: "Carrots in their myriad forms—raw, cooked, pickled and made custard—are showcased in an heirloom salad...A beetroot tartare ($15) is pure alchemy. Mr. Carmellini hand chops the roasted beet so it retains the pleasant meatiness of body. There are fishy fireworks of flavor in the trout roe, which pop and go, ebb and flow with the horseradish beneath the beets below." Four stars. [NYO]
Zachary Feldman loves Koreatown's hot new Korean barbecue restaurant, Kang Ho Dong Baekjong: "Aside from the superlative meats...there are drinking foods like pajeon; thick pancakes filled with scallions and seafood; and yukhoe, coarsely chopped beef tartare folded with matchsticks of Asian pear and topped with a wobbly egg yolk. [Chef] Deuki [Hong]'s noodles and stews showcase his ability, with both stringy egg (with chopped squid) and chewy, translucent rice noodles radiating from the fermented heat of gochujang." [VV]
Adam Platt, who panned the old Mission Chinese Food, is won over by the new one: "Bowien's ingenious salt-cod fried rice is still the rice dish to get, but poke around the 'Noodle Corner' section, and you will find concoctions made with the aforementioned green tea and even steamed oats. The 'Chef's Specialties' section contains not one but two impressive head-on fish options (one "drunken style," the other whole fried on a tray with chunks of taro and turnip)." Three stars. [NYM]
Steve Cuozzo finds some good dishes at Zuma, though the scene is a little much for him: "Sushi is a Zuma strength, from plain-vanilla (but pristine) salmon and tuna to specials like rare Japanese barracuda of a singular, smoky quality. Nori, toothsome at first bite, dissolves on the tongue. I haven't had such crisply assembled maki — like a spider roll of soft-shell crab, chili and wasabi tobiko mayo — in a place so large since the old Megu." Two stars. [NYP]
THE ELSEWHERE: Hannah Goldfield visits Ralph Lauren's supremely clubby Polo Bar. Ligaya Mishan loves the French-West African restaurant Le Marecage. Gael Greene loves the pizzas, and the rest of it, at Prova.
THE BLOGS: The Infatuation is very impressed with Ramen Lab, the Food Doc finds Santina on the boring side, Chekmark Eats has a great meal at Bowery Meat Company, NY Journal has a decent meal at Florian, Gothamist runs down at meal at Dan Barber's wastED pop-up, Chopsticks + Marrow sings the praises of Salt & Fat