This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema heads to Bensonhurst’s Dai Wah Yummy City: “The menu features exactly what the adults crave: Cantonese food with Hong Kong flourishes, plus dishes from other regions of China that have been popularized and added to the southern Chinese canon.” Lauren Shockey isn’t exactly enamored with Breuckelen: “a decent local spot, but like most neighborhood joints, it falls short of being a destination — especially when entrées come tagged with Manhattan prices.”
Sam Sifton awards three stars to Ai Fiori: “[T]he dinner menu is a soulful amalgamation of French technique and Italian passion, executed with great skill. It turns an Italian lens on haute French cooking to reveal French food as it might be cooked in Como for a table of aristocrats. This works out well for everyone: Ai Fiori is one of the best restaurants to open in New York in the last 12 months.”
Pete Wells looks at three of the city’s new doughnut shops, including Dough (“sticks to yeast, the better to fool around with clever new glazes”), City Coffee & Doughnuts (“doughnuts made from mashed potatoes … something of a hybrid, with a cake doughnut’s craggy roughness surrounding an un-cakey light interior”), and the Doughnut Plant (“the round creations … have the power to amaze.”
Steve Cuozzo likes Donatella despite Donatella Arpaia: “Donatella is a swell new pizza joint with benefits — such as great pork chops and seafood salad at crazy-low prices. But you’d never know about them from the hype over its gold-domed pizza oven ‘comprised of volcanic salt, sand and rock from Mt. Vesuvius’ — or from obsessive attention to all-over-the-place owner Donatella Arpaia.”
Jay Cheshes is intrigued by FishTag: “[D]ishes … have an almost defiant quality, so outside the box, they’re like a dare to the neighborhood. Who says you can’t serve ambitious, adventurous food on the Upper West Side?”
The Metromix editors approve of Van Horn Sandwich Shop, “which puts its own unique spin on the humble sandwich shop by turning it into a place where you’ll want to sit, linger and sip cocktails in between hearty bites — all at affordable prices, and amid an easygoing vibe.”
Gael Greene likes the food, not so much the name, at What Happens When: “I already like it. The modestly abbreviated menu, the proper young servers in black, the saucer goblet of apricot liquor that arrives with a trio of amusements, the pause to find your silver stashed in the drawer of your table — it has the feel of off-Broadway. I like that too.”
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