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Pete Wells Likes Minton's for the Scene, Eli's Table Surprises Tejal Rao, and More

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A roundup of what all the critics are talking about this week.

Almanac
Almanac
Daniel Krieger

Yesterday Ryan Sutton gave two stars to Uncle Boons, now here's a roundup of the rest of the week's reviews:

Pete Wells heads to Minton's in Harlem, where the jazz is great, and sometimes the food is too: "There are direct quotations from South Carolina, like smooth she-crab soup or the crab and shrimp on fat, fluffy grains of grits. And there are riffs on the African theme, including collards cooked so they keep some of their crunch and dressed with a spiced peanut sauce. It's just a side dish, but I haven't stopped thinking about it." One star. [NYT]

Though it's pricey, Tejal Rao is impressed with the straightforward menu at Eli's Table: "One of my favorite concoctions involved a couple of thick slices of crusty bread, grilled with plenty of olive oil and served under a heap of morels cooked with cream and shallots, the king of spring toasts. Parts of the bread had soaked up the juice, others were still crunchy." Two stars. [Bloomberg]

Stan Sagner finds a lot to like at Almanac, Galen Zamarra's replacement for Mas (La Grillade): "I went off-menu to order squid bolognese ($20), a clump of squid ink tagliatelle that looks homely but tastes divine as the meat magically melts into an unctuous, heady sauce. I loved it. I was equally taken with Zamarra's feather-light gnocchi ($20) in a lovely root-vegetable sauce brightened with chervil and Meyer lemon and flecked with truffle." [NYDN]

Adam Platt reviews Santina, where he finds hits and misses: "The most successful pastas tend to be mixed with plump mussels (chitarra Santina) or chunks of cracked blue crab, and you can complement them with a series of rice dishes (try the shrimp zingara) that are marginally lighter than your average risotto and just as compulsively edible." Two stars. [NYM]

Steve Cuozzo visits August, and finds it refreshed in its move from the West Village to the Upper East Side: "I don't have a bad word about roasted duck-breast slices and a mighty, moist confit leg. Beyond unifying apricot purée, a tour of the plate revealed strong notes of juniper, turnips, orange and maple syrup — a dish tenuously poised between winter and spring, and flattering to both." Two stars. [NYP]

Christina Izzo reviews Rocky Slims, the Murray Hill pizza spot helmed by Angelo Romano: "Beyond pizza, Romano's produce-packed contorni plates—rigged with food-blog bait like celeriac, stracciatella and nduja—could verge on eye-rollingly trendy if they weren't so well done. The toque takes ubiquitous ingredients and makes you forget you've tasted them everywhere else, like when that of-the-moment sausage spread combats its porky, chili-smoldering funk against crisp, clean fennel and tangerine." Four stars. [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ligaya Mishan likes the small bites at East Wind Snack Shop in Windsor Terrace. Hannah Goldfield loves El Rey. Gael Greene eats ramen and more at Meijin, and checks in on the Mountain Bird pop-up.

THE BLOGS: The Infatuation says Il Buco is as good as ever, NY Journal has some decent meals at The Milton on the Upper East Side, Restaurant Girl has an early look at Contrada under its new chef, Chekmark Eats likes Bar Sardine for brunch, Chopsticks + Marrow says Pen Shun Spicy Pot in New York Food Court has the city's best Muslim lamb chop, and NYC Foodie snacks at Dojo Izakaya.

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