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Aquavit Gets Three Stars, a Very Early Take on the Clocktower, and More

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All of this week's restaurant reviews in one place.

The Clocktower
The Clocktower
Nick Solares

Yesterday, Ryan Sutton reviewed Danny Meyer's new bar, Porchlight. Now here's a roundup of the rest of the week's reviews:

Pete Wells pays a visit to the 27-year-old Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit, which landed in the hands of chef Emma Bengtsson last year: "Ms. Bengtsson builds contrasts of color and shape that underscore ones of flavor and texture. She pairs creamy white buttons of delicate asparagus panna cotta with crisp ribbons of raw asparagus. Against both forms of the vegetable she pits salty-sweet gravlax in ravioli-esque pink bundles, sheets of cured salmon draped over chopped mounds of it." Three stars. [NYT]

Joshua David Stein files a very early report on the Clocktower, after spending 12 hours at the hotel and experiencing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails. On dinner: "[Jason] Atherton offers a 40-day dry-aged cote de bouef ($125). It comes with a tower of black truffle haricots verts and cubes of foie gras, potato gratin and a gravy boat of bordelaise sauce with chunks of bone marrow floating like fatty ice floes. I opt instead for the mac and cheese ($23)...New York doesn't need another riff on comfort food but it does need this one. Reasonable in portion but rich in character." Three stars. [NYO]

Tejal Rao reviews Marcus Samuelsson's new Streetbird Rotisserie, where there are hits and misses: "One of the tastiest dishes on the menu is called the Swediopian, a tasty portmanteau of the places to which Samuelsson belongs, that is more elegant to eat than it is to say. A big pile of chicken meat, crumbles of fresh cheese, and hard-boiled egg almost covers a sheet of soft, flexible injera, a flatbread made from fermented teff grains." One star. [Bloomberg]

Michael Kaminer is mostly bored by Tasca Chino: "Chicken two ways ($26), [Alex] Urena's spin on sweet-and-sour chicken, sounds fun. But it's a snooze, pairing polite poached poultry with a couple of rice-flour-coated drumsticks and tart broccoli rabe. Urena tries to save the dish with swirls of rich cashew puree and chicken-soy-sauce reduction, but neither brings enough charge." Three stars. [NYDN]

Adam Platt doubles up on two 1st Avenue newcomers, Noreetuh and Oiji. On the Korean food at Oiji: "The slow-cooked oxtail is one of the best iterations of this home-style dish I've tasted in a while, and the eggy beef shank and rice Jang Jo Rim was so good we ordered it twice. Delicate eaters will enjoy the seafood stew (with a hint of truffles)." Each restaurant gets two stars. [NYM/GS]

Christina Izzo tries out Bryce Shuman's new tasting menu at Betony: "[M]irth is felt from the get-go, kicking off with a play-with-your-food plate of English-pea puree spackled with sesame and olive oil and served with a single rainbow kale leaf that the waistcoated server instructs to use as a utensil. Later, it's palpable in a crispy carrot roll—twee enough for a hamster—snowed with crumbles of the fermented root veg, and a nest of julienned kohlrabi, broccoli stem and watermelon radish strips, sauced with honey-mustard dressing and scattered with chive tips." Four stars. [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Amelia Lester has a great time at Rebelle. Ligaya Mishan visits the tiny, one-man crepe operation Crepes Canaveral. In time for summer, Gael Greene pens a guide to dining in the Hamptons.

THE BLOGS: The Infatuation isn't too excited by Colicchio & Sons, Restaurant Girl rounds up some of the best soft shell crab dishes in town, the Food Doc loves most of what he tries at Lupulo, Chekmark Eats loves newcomer Virginia's, Chopsticks + Marrow finds a crazy ice cream sandwich at House of Inasal.

Oiji

119 1st Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10003 (646) 767-9050 Visit Website

Aquavit

65 East 55th Street, Manhattan, NY 10022 (212) 307-7311 Visit Website

Betony

41 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 212-465-2400

Streetbird Rotisserie

2149 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Manhattan, NY 10027 (212) 206-2557 Visit Website

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