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Pete Wells Gives One Star to Taavo Somer and Carlos Quirarte's Le Turtle

The decor feels like an inside joke.

Daniel Krieger

Like its name, there isn't much about Le Turtle in the Lower East Side that is French, according to Pete Wells:

The chef, Greg Proechel, who comes to Le Turtle from Blanca and Mr. Nilsson, a short-lived tasting-menu experiment in Long Island City, Queens, seems to have no idea how to translate the French new wave into edible form. Intelligently, he stays away from Godard references; there is no À Bout de Soufflé au Chocolat. But he also stays away from anything you could really call French cooking.

Wells adds that the music is too loud, and the decor doesn't make any sense, but he does manage to find solace in the house-recommended dishes:

The impressively smooth chicken liver mousse is as good as the servers promise it will be. So is the kohlrabi soup, unlikely as that sounds, served with wonderful cubes of browned lamb bacon. They’re also right about the assortment of mushrooms on a spookily good sauce of brie and oysters; the mushrooms are splattered with black truffle shavings that taste wonderful, even if they do make the dish look like a bowl of potting soil.

"This is one restaurant where the dishes suggested by the house tend to be the best things on the menu," he adds. The critic gives Le Turtle one star.

Le Turtle

177 Chrystie St, Manhattan, NY 10002 (646) 918-7189 Visit Website