Pete Wells finds that Kips Bay standby Resto has a new energy now that Koren Grieveson — formerly of Avec in Chicago and Claudette in the Village — is running the kitchen. Here's Wells on some of his favorites:
You don’t often meet up with winter salads as dynamic as the one Ms. Grieveson puts together out of endive and celery root with mint, slivers of dried apricots and long twists of lamb bacon; the orange vinaigrette tasted like the sun coming out after a blizzard.
Piled on thick rafts of bread, brandade turned out the way I always hope it will, often in vain, but not this time: fluffy and dense at once, with very tender and silky chunks of salt cod. I was really impressed by the Puy lentils served with crisp-skinned dorade; Ms. Grieveson had wonderfully cooked these earthy legumes with sweet and fruity black garlic.
Pete is a bit underwhelmed by some of the shellfish dishes and desserts, but gives the restaurant two stars.
Meanwhile, in Greenpoint, the Times critic is impressed by many of the unusual dishes that Lee Desrosiers is serving at Andrew Tarlow's bar, Achilles Heel:
As at a wine bar in France, there are tartines, which everybody in New York decided one recent day to call "toasts." Fried bread showed through beneath sheets of sweetly melting lardo, uncannily good and flecked with Sichuan peppercorn. Toast jutted out of a bowl of fleshy, delicious black trumpet mushrooms in their own broth. Excellent, densely seeded bread came alongside fluke with pickled chiles; I’d expected raw fluke, but it had been cured in salt and then restored, like bacalao, into an intensely flavored mash.
Wells gives Achilles Heel one star.