Robert Sietsema at Phayul; Lauren Shockey at The Astor Room

This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema gets a spicy surprise, namely "reconfigured Sichuan fare," at Tibetan café Phayul; Lauren Shockey discovers "totally passé eats" at the Astor Room.

Sam Sifton approves of Empellón: "one of the more captivating restaurants to open in recent months, with food that outstrips an atmosphere that is more frat-like than fine." [NY Times]

Steve Cuozzo revisits Aldea, deeming it better than ever: "a seamless fusion of muted luxury and 'flavors on steroids,' as my guest put it, from the warm 'welcome back' at the door to the last morsel of Valdeon cheese." [NY Post]

Instead of a review, Adam Platt uncovers the city's best ice creams, including the Sundae of Broken Dreams at Brooklyn Farmacy, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck's Monday Sundae, and a Breakfast Trash and Cotton Candy cone at Ample Hills Creamery. [NY Magazine]

Tables for Two finds hits and misses at Fishtag, namely the "confounding layout of the menu. ... There is, it turns out, plenty of seafood to go around, much of it not bad." [New Yorker]

Gael Greene finds a lot to like at Todd English's latest, CrossBar: "Tonight's menu is possibly the porkiest I've ever seen and so is our dinner. ... Almost everything I've tasted is good or very good tonight and prudently priced." [Insatiable Critic]

Have a restaurant tip or other food news? Send it to fork@villagevoice.com.

And follow us on Twitter: @ForkintheRoadVV.


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