— For Pete Wells and Greenwich Village restaurant Mimi, it wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, the Times critic notes that while several of chef Liz Johnson’s dishes are excellent, the restaurant isn’t "quite there yet." Still, Wells finds many dishes worthy of high praise: "About half the meal was delicious in ways I rarely experience in other restaurants. Very gently crisped eel and fleshy yellow peaches went with a strong mustard sauce that sent fumes up the back of my nose, and the combination made neural pathways begin firing that had never seen action before. Less daring, more elemental, was lamb cooked until the fat melted into the soft pink flesh. The sauce was a rough pesto of nettles, nothing fussy about it, with a creamy brick of pommes dauphinois." As mentioned yesterday, Wells awards Mimi one star.
— The veal terrine is excellent, and the rabbit is perfectly juicy, but not all the dishes at Le Coucou are a hit, according to Gael Greene. Here is Greene on some hits and misses: "I relish the potatoes boulangère with shredded oxtail more than the mundane filet in marrow juice it accompanies. And too-cooked Dover sole folded over chanterelles with the sweetness of green tomato broth poured over is not for me. But I’m seduced by rare duck slices with cherries and black olives and the expertly sautéed foie gras that comes in its own copper pan, and I can’t wait to return to try everything we skipped."
— In a rare barbecue twofer, Village Voice critic Zachary Feldman files on Izzy's Brooklyn Smokehouse, and Joeper's Smokeshack. Of Izzy’s in Crown Heights he writes of pitmaster Sruli "Izzy" Eidelman: "His ribs (both beef and lamb) are ideal; heavily padded with blackened salt and pepper 'bark,' they drip with melted fat when pulled apart — the lamb especially. As Texas-style barbecue goes, it's divine."
— Meanwhile, in Marine Park, Feldman finds Joeper’s Smokeshack to be worth the trip: "Take the not-so-subtle hint and order Memphis-style ribs smoked in Pandolfo's custom-built pit for over four hours until their dry rub is almost blackened. The autodidact's technique produces juicy, highly porky meat. And at $22 for a whole rack, they're a serious bargain that, by themselves, warrant the trip to this corner of southern Flatbush Avenue."
— At the buzzed-about Kellogg’s outpost in Times Square, Steve Cuozzo recommends sticking to the Tosi-curated creations: "The curated offerings on the menu are the best bets. The Berry Me in Green Tea — Rice Krispies topped with fresh strawberries and green matcha tea powder — left me giggling with delight like my less curmudgeonly 8-year-old self." And even though he didn’t enjoy the Pistachio & Lemon creation, Cuozzo promises to return soon for lunch.
— Burmese food is hard to come by in New York City, but it is worth the travel, according to Ligaya Mishan. The Times critic files on Burmese Bites and Burma Noodle Bar, two food-hall restaurants in Corona and Sunset Park respectively. Here is Mishan on Burma Noofle Bar: "Mr. Saw’s samusas are flatter and daintier than Indian samosas, with skins that shatter promptly, giving way to a dark mash of potato and the distinctive musk of garam masala. The rest of the menu is noodles, beautifully enmeshed in tamarind and fish sauce, with studdings of dried shrimp and caramelized onions like insistent asterisks, all leavened by red cabbage with its clean finishing crunch." She adds "Each dish seemed better than the last, no matter what order I ate them in."
The Blogs: the Pink Pig heads to Le Coucou, Goodies First files one Cemitas el Tigre and a few others, and Joe DiStefano tries a strawberry and egg salad.