— Although it's only two-and-a-half months old, Pete Wells thinks Freek’s Mill in Gowanus is already a fine place to dine, due largely to Chad Shaner’s cooking: "So many things on Chad Shaner’s menu are worth trying. With half-grown chefs around the country getting attention for the two weeks they spent fondling beets at Noma, it’s something of a relief to learn that the highlights of Mr. Shaner’s career were jobs at Union Square Cafe and BLT Prime. Neither place has been in the vanguard of culinary innovation recently, but somewhere along the line, Mr. Shaner learned to cook food that really tastes good." He adds: "I never met any bad dishes at Freek’s Mill, and only a few I wouldn’t try again." As mentioned yesterday, Pete Wells gives the restaurant two stars.
— At The Crabby Shack in Crown Heights, Ligaya Mishan finds a proper shrine to the crustacean: "I was resistant to crab immured in a grilled cheese stippled with chives, or in an otherwise respectable mac and cheese. But the crab roll is lovely, shredded crab and lengths of merus meat from the fattest part of the leg, christened in garlic butter, then tucked into a Martin’s potato bun, as God intended. Better yet is the crab BLT, supported by avocado, bacon, tomato and a chapbook’s worth of dark leafy greens, all on Texas toast with butter-burnished pores and a ragged map of char. It was one of the best things I’ve eaten all year."
— Gael Greene is pleasantly surprised by the tasting menu at Günter Seeger: "Foie gras sublime, I must say, tasting a tiny measure from the tip of the silken island. It is uniquely delicate as if cooled in its bath, it was simply painted with a wine glaze, and then delivered directly to the table. I spread some on a piece of brioche. I take a small bite of the applesauce and another of onion, and then press a third ration of richness on another chunk of the cake-like bread."
— Zachary Feldman thinks the wine list is at Agern is full of surprises and the sweet-savory desserts are equally special. But the tasting menu is the reason to go here: "Agern's ‘Field + Forest’ prix fixe offers one of the city's greatest vegetarian fine-dining experiences, and thanks to Nordic cuisine's propensity for produce, there's much to enjoy. Under Gíslason's direction, potato salad looks and tastes like an amusement park ride, its cured egg yolk cut into modernist ribbons and mixing it up with pickled rose petals and green rhubarb-flecked spuds. Baked beets are excavated from their salt crust with knife taps from amiable waitstaff; sliced tableside, they're laid over beet tartare cut with horseradish."
— Tables for Two critic Emily Greenhouse enjoys seemingly everything she tries at Le Garage in Brooklyn. Here she is on some of here favorites: "The chicken for two is an ode to bird and butter. You might pause a moment before digging in, but chicken this crispy and juicy, served alongside lemongrass-sweet-potato purée, has a way of disappearing fast. The foie gras and steak satisfy, but it’s the sea bass that surprises, its skin like lattice, heaped with lightly charred ramps."