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Pete Wells Gives Two Stars to Via Carota, Other Critics Love Mission Chinese and Bara

This week in reviews, Bara, Mission Chinese, Wilma Jean, and Via Carota all earn high marks.

Mission Chinese Food
Mission Chinese Food
Daniel Krieger

Stay tuned for Ryan Sutton's review later this week, but in the meantime, here's a roundup of the rest of the week's reviews:

Pete Wells visits Via Carota, the West Village restaurant from Jody Williams and Rita Sodi: "There are vegetables of all shapes and sizes, and with them the chefs give up a bit of their severity and start to play. Twiglike salsify roots were caramelized in brown butter, almost candied, and wonderful. A fennel bulb, cooked until tender, was dressed in orange pulp and orange zest. Shafts of leeks, poached and served cool, were topped with shavings of cured mullet roe and grated hard-cooked eggs." Two stars. [NYT]

Tejal Rao is a big fan of the new Mission Chinese Food: "The Big Tray Fish ($55) is one of my favorite dishes on the new menu, a masterful cover of the Spicy Village classic and the very definition of crave-able. Instead of poultry, it's served here with a whole dorade on the bone (or occasionally, a porgy), over a bed of noodles. There is less sauce in this adaptation, but in keeping with Mission Chinese Food's house style, it has a brash, in-your-face kind of intensity that more than makes up for it." Two stars. [Bloomberg]

Zachary Feldman is impressed with the French-Japanese Bara in the East Village: "Bara's seafood dishes are uniformly good: Horseradish shavings and ponzu sauce cut through the oiliness of mackerel tataki; a frequent special of whole-roasted black bass, its skin crackled and basted in sticky, sherry-vinegar-based tare glaze, easily sates two hungry diners." [VV]

Michael Kaminer deems Wilma Jean's fried chicken the best in the city: "The chef...envelops juicy, plump birds in a sweet-saline, elegantly crunchy, blissfully grease-free coating that locks in deep flavors. And the poultry itself astounds – giant breasts ($6), bulging thighs ($4), imposing drumsticks ($3). And it ain't necessarily Southern, but Wilma Jean's burger ($7) nearly steals the fowl's spotlight. As simple as it gets – hefty patty, fluffy sesame-seed roll, fresh lettuce, tangy reddish sauce – Newton's rendition beats the buns off fancier Brooklyn burgers." Three stars [NYDN]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan loves the moles at La Morada in the Bronx. Silvia Killingsworth reviews Tuome for the New Yorker. Gael Greene pens an appreciation of an old favorite, Circo.

THE BLOGS: Chris Stang deems the new Momofuku Ko worth the steep price, Restaurant Girl deems Santina another team Torrisi hit, Gothamist says The Handpulled Noodle in Harlem is a good neighborhood spot, if not outstanding, Chopsticks + Marrow loves the duck carbonara at Sotto 13, Chekmark Eats has a great meal at Bara, NY Journal likes Happy Ending, though is not blown away, and the Food Doc loves the new Mission Chinese Food.