This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema finds mostly hits and a few misses at the recently reopened St. Anselm: “The appetizers were terrif. … Which is not to say a steady hand always rested on the tiller of the restaurant.”
Sam Sifton approves of Danji: “Hooni Kim, who opened this place in December as a new-style Korean take on a Japanese izakaya, is a terrific cook. Those who take the time and care to explore his menu of both traditional and modernized Korean food will be rewarded.”
Adam Platt samples the gastropub fare at Hospoda (“The problem with the food at Hospoda, if any, is that there isn’t quite enough of it”) and Birreria (“The beers are competent by today’s brew-snob standards … but what really gets your attention is the food”).
Steve Cuozzo is disillusioned by Casa Nonna: “So risk-averse (and aroma-free), it seems to have touched down like a misrouted balloon on a still-gritty block between Eighth and Ninth avenues. Crafted to feed Times Square’s tourist masses and guests of the West 30s’ budget-traveler hotels, it is People’s Exhibit No. 1 that the city’s great interpretive-Italian tide has ebbed. Is this really the best that BLT Restaurant Group — shorn of founding genius Laurent Tourondel — can do?”
Jay Cheshes discovers authentic Thai at Zabb Elee: “The low-key basement spot focuses on the fiery, funky foods of northern Thailand, and the roster is a challenging one, with categories like tod (fried meats), som tum (papaya salads), and yang (grilled meats) making up the more than five dozen choices. You wanted real Thai food, it taunts, let’s see what you’ve got.”
Ryan Sutton finds several redeeming qualities and dishes at Leopard at des Artistes: “This is less the modern approach to Italy, more the throwback method, with a few Sicilian and Sardinian twists.”
Gael Greene wrangles her way into Café de la Esquina at Wythe Diner: “Still, we aren’t here for gastronomic epiphany. We came to La Esquina for the drama of the Thursday night scene, to pretend we belonged, to speculate on the power of huitlacoche and Christ.”