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Reviews for Le Turtle, Lilia, La Sirena, and More

Ryan Sutton is wowed by the Italian food at Lilia in Williamsburg, giving it two stars in his latest review. Here's a roundup of the rest of this week's big reviews:

Daniel Krieger

As mentioned yesterday, Pete Wells is not totally in love with the vibe and overall look of Le Turtle on the Lower East Side. But, the Times critic does enjoy many dishes, mostly the ones the servers recommend: "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." One star.

Breakfast is fine, but Gael Greene enjoys dinner much more at Mario Batali's sprawling La Sirena. Here is Greene is on some nighttime offerings: "The more adventurous will want anchovies marinated in-house and served with fennel three ways or bright short rib carpaccio with turnips. Cubes of warm pepperoni and potato add excitement to a fine toss of frisée with a poached egg in the salata category."

Photo by Nick Solares

The host was less than welcoming, but once seated, Zachary Feldman enjoyed Missy Robbins' return to cooking at Lilia: "Robbins brings her gluten A-game to Lilia, preparing half a dozen well-portioned pastas. Choose any of them — ricotta gnocchi with broccoli pesto and pistachios, malfadine ribbons with parmesan and pink peppercorns — and you'll leave happier than you arrived." The Village Voice critic adds: "She does a lot with the simplest ingredient combinations."

The service is polite, and the temaki is great, but TONY's Christina Izzo doesn't think Kosaka matches to New York's sushi greats. She explains her mixed feelings: "Missteps would be easier to excuse if Kousaka’s omakase didn’t pale in comparison to many of the city’s next-level sushi spreads available at similar price points. Offerings are available as a 15-piece sushi omakase or a chef’s tasting menu, and the seafood selection, much of which is flown in from Japan’s Tsukiji Market, is impressively vast. But those are frequently overpowered by rice heavily dressed in house soy."

Silvia Killngsworth finds the usual Momofuku factors at David Chang and Josh Pinsky's Nishi: loud and uncomfortable space, with exciting food. Here's Killingsworth on some of the dishes: "For Chang acolytes, the most satisfying part of dining at Nishi is tasting the results of his eternal hunt for sources of umami, an extension of his experiments with misos and sauces at his food laboratory. A starter of tofu with smoked trout roe and rye Bonji—a liquid seasoning similar to soy sauce—is like a savory, salty panna cotta." On Chang she adds: "But he would do well to let Pinsky, whose mother inspired Nishi’s most exquisite dessert, a pistachio Bundt cake, do more of the talking."

Photo by Nick Solares

The Blogs: Restaurant Girl considers becoming a regular at newly opened Le Coq Rico, the Pink Pig has trouble seeing the delicious food at Mimi in the West Village, and Joe DiStefano samples DIY veggie sliders in Astoria.

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