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Reviews for La Sirena, Freek's Mill, Babu Ji, Indian Accent, and More

Ryan Sutton gives two stars to the pizza and wine selection at Pasquale Jones. Here's a roundup of the rest of this week's big reviews: 

Freek's Mill
Freek's Mill
Freek's Mill

Yesterday's review from Pete Wells left the restaurant critic wondering if La Sirena's palatial size lead to mistakes like an allergy scare at the critic's table. Still, Wells sings the praises of chefs Josh Laurano and Michael Laiskonis: "In Michael Laiskonis’s desserts, there’s nothing but sophisticated pleasure. The baba is a citrus-soaked spongecake turned pink with Campari. The semifreddo looks like a baked alaska, a hedgehog of browned meringue around blood orange sorbet with a frozen core of honey nougat." As mentioned yesterday, Pete Wells gives La Sirena two stars.

Photo by Nick Solares

B & K French Cuisine may be working without gas, but that doesn't stop the small restaurant from delivering delicious food, according to Ligaya Mishan: "We get just glimmers of what Mr. Kebe can do, with the help of hastily bought hot plates and an electric grill, but it’s enough to make me wish for more." And while the food is simple, pleasure is abundant: "I was not excited to order the chicken sandwich until I pried it open and found the underside of the baguette soaked in green: olive oil steeped with basil often harvested from a local garden and still bright from the earth. This is almost pesto, with Parmesan shaved separately and left to melt over long planks of grilled chicken, and stray leaves of arugula wilted just enough to tame their bite."

— Manhattan's "curry catastrophe" is officially over, according to the Post's Steve Cuozzo. This week, Cuozzo highlights Indian Accent, Tapestry, Babu Ji, Chaiwali, and Soho Tiffin Junction in a roundup of restaurants that are giving new life to Indian cuisineAt Tapestry in Greenwich Village, Cuozzo enjoys most of what he tries: "Among the best choices: harira posole (above), where saffron and cumin add welcome notes to the North African soup; fried Brussels sprouts with spiced yogurt, tamarind, mint and cilantro; and a brave spin on fritto misto spiced with coarse-ground black pepper, coriander and chilies."

— Meanwhile, at Jessi Singh's Babu Ji, the Post critic compares the space to a Momofuku restaurant, but praises the food: "Start with the street snack gol gappa — an irresistibly tactile, crisp-fried semolina sphere that conceals quick-squirting tamarind, yogurt and dates. Toothsome yogurt 'kebabs' deliver a ginger-tinted one-two punch that starts out sweet and then stings, thanks to interplay between beetroot sauce and green chili."

Photo by Daniel Krieger

Service is polished, and the wine list is full of surprises, but Zachary Feldman is particularly taken by the food at Freek's Mill in Gowanus: "The pork jowl at Freek's Mill in Gowanus is free of bells and whistles, but it leaves a lasting impression. Each cheek, marinated in white wine overnight and slow-roasted, is fork-tender on the inside and covered in a gnarled and inflated crust. The $19 dish exemplifies the sensible and resourceful cooking of chef Chad Shaner who serves it with just a few pickled ramps and radishes and a dollop of sharp Dijon mustard."

The Blogs: The Food Doc pays a visit to Gunter Seeger, Restaurant Girls tries some of the pies at the new Lower East Side Speedy Romeo, the Pink Pig goes on a fried chicken crawl, and Joe DiStefano files on a breakfast sandwich.

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