Pete Wells reviews Andrew Carmellini and crew's latest project, Little Park this week, and finds a restaurateur who has taken a leap forward. The Tribeca restaurant, remarks Wells, "is Mr. Carmellini's most contemporary restaurant. In a sense, it's his first." Overall, the critic enjoys chef de cuisine Min Kong's vegetable-focused menu. He decides that "it's a lucky carrot that ends up in Ms. Kong's kitchen," and goes on in typical Wells fashion about the beet risotto:
Beets are, insistently, the point of the earthy and velvety risotto made from them, although crème fraîche and goat cheese do put extra wiggle in its walk. Flowers and shaved bull's-eyes of Chioggia beets on top keep the shockingly red plate from looking like a crime scene.
There are a few "moments of surprising inattentiveness," in dishes like an oily whole wheat spaghetti with pork and cabbage, but Wells dishes out more praise than complaints. In the end, he gives it two stars, just like Ryan Sutton did last month.