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]