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Pete Wells Hands Out One Star to Hawaiian Noreetuh and Neighborhood Charmer The Eddy

Per Se vet Chung Chow treats Spam with reverence.

Courtesy of Noreetuh

Pete Wells has been ping ponging back and forth between two East Village restaurants lately: Hawaiian newcomer Noreetuh and the cozy spot The Eddy. He hands out one star each to the two restaurants today.

At Noreetuh, Per Se vet Chung Chow shows a reverence for Spam:

Mr. Chow....goes out of his way to treat Hormel's arrestingly pink canned meat product as if it were an heirloom ingredient. Stuffed into supple agnolotti and accessorized with hon-shimeji mushrooms; semi-juicy, soy-cured spring almonds; and a mob of bonito flakes (waving their hands in the air like they just don't care), it could almost pass for mortadella.

The restaurant makes a good first impression, according to Pete (and Ryan Sutton), but "Noreetuh may have a trickier time converting new diners into regulars," says Wells. "At the moment, there's something a little cautious about the whole enterprise," but things seem to be moving in the right direction.

Over at The Eddy, Wells finds a restaurant that "that gets so many little details right that your main course can be a little shaky and you can still walk out happy." The critic isn't 100 percent sold on some of chef Brendan McHale's dishes like the burrata — which he says is better at Estela — "But other dishes were wonderful. There were unimprovable roasted potatoes with strips of rib-eye whose dry-aged intensity was amplified by the low-key funk of melted Brie."

Still, it's the restaurant's calculated vibe and gracious service that wins over Pete.

I thought about how extremely pleasant everybody is at the Eddy, starting with the bartenders, who look up and smile each time a new customer walks in, as if they lived in the opening credits of a sitcom. I remembered the drinks they made, which are as good as the ones at a dedicated cocktail bar. I recalled the compact well-priced wine list, and how I never picked a bottle that I didn't enjoy a little more than I'd expected.

The Eddy

1715 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, , NC 27340 (336) 525-2010 Visit Website

noreetuh

128 1st Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10009 (646) 892-3050 Visit Website

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