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Missy Robbins’ Misi Is This Year’s Most Critically Divisive Opening

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Yet another review has rolled in, and feelings are still mixed!

Patrons dine at the bar at Misi
The bar at Misi
Louise Palmberg/Eater

Even in a dining scene with as many hyped-up restaurants as New York City, chef Missy Robbins’ sophomore restaurant Misi has stood out as particularly hot. Reservations are booked a month in advance and a slim number of walk-in seats can require hour-and-a-half waits. But reviews on whether or not the acclaimed chef’s restaurant is actually worth waiting for continues to be a mixed bag.

Most recently, the New Yorker’s Hannah Goldfield found hits and misses on the menu — “perfectly chewy” mezze rigatoni and “undersauced” chickpea pappardelle — but ultimately said that any Robbins fan would be better off trying to get into the equally exclusive Lilia, the chef’s first Williamsburg restaurant. Last week, New York’s Adam Platt considered the restaurant a bit monotonous, also considering it a “hit-and-miss” restaurant.

And earlier in November, Times critic Pete Wells praised the restaurant for the vegetables and pasta, giving it three stars — on the same day that Eater critic Ryan Sutton gave it one star, saying that the pasta ranged from “serviceable” to “nearly disastrous.”

There is at least one thing they all agree on: It’s still ridiculously hard to get a table, so only a small population will be able to judge which critic they agree with, anyway.

Here’s a rundown of takes, plus a note on which dishes are safe bets to order:

Pastas

Linguine, anchovy, garlic, parsley, colatura
Linguine with anchovy
Gary He/Eater

The main attraction of pastas was where opinions became far more divided. NY mag liked linguine with anchovies for being “coated quite deliciously,” but Eater called “oppressively saline” and “nearly disastrous,” while the New Yorker said it “tasted, jarringly, like it had been dunked into the ocean.”

On chickpea pappardelle, NY mag said the noodles were “coated quite deliciously,” but Eater called the dish “forgettable,” and the New Yorker called it “undersauced.” Wells at the Times praised the corzetti’s barely cooked tomato sauce, while Sutton at Eater called the same sauce “insipid.”

Chickpea Pappardelle, chickpeas, rosemary, garlic, parmigiano
The chickpea pappardelle
Gary He/Eater

New Yorker’s Goldfield considered the seafood pasta malloreddus a standout, saying it “lived up to the hype.” Eater’s Sutton called the broth thin and said it didn’t “permeate the bland pasta.”

And a mezze rigatoni with 30 cloves of garlic “assaults the palate with salt and cheese,” according to Sutton, while the Times critic and the New Yorker critic enjoyed the dish. Goldfield called it “perfectly chewy.”

Critics agree on liking: sheep’s milk ricotta-filled occhi, spinach and mascarpone filled tortelli

Antipasti and dessert

Grilled baby artichokes, mint, salsa verde
Grilled baby artichokes, mint, salsa verde
Gary He/Eater

Though pasta is the flagship of the restaurant — it’s made in clear view in a glass-enclosed pasta room — vegetable dishes to start the meal largely impressed most of the town’s critics. Wells called the section “highly impressive” and suggested that the dishes were so good, it would be incorrect to call Misi just a pasta restaurant. Eater’s critic Sutton, whose review trended negative, still called out Robbins’ antipasti section, saying ordering from there is “the smart strategy” for dining at Misi. Goldfield commented on the creaminess of a ricotta. New York’s Platt enjoyed several dishes, but he ultimately also found it monotonous, with a “slightly numbing parade of Mediterranean flavors.”

The critics also largely agreed on the two other portions of the menu. The steak special for two, priced at $110, is “an ode to aging and blue cheese funk,” Sutton writes. And the simple dessert selection of gelato stood out for all the critics.

Critics agree on liking: eggplant, chanterelles, zucchini, crostini with whipped ricotta and charred peppers, steak, gelato

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