Robert Sietsema at Florencia 13; One NYT Star for Alison Eighteen


In this week’s Voice, Robert Sietsema tests out Cal-Mex specialties and margaritas at the Village’s Florencia 13: “You should start your meal with a flaming margarita, though that flame is confined to a small slice of cucumber floating on top. It’s indicative of a playful element in Mexican cuisine that might be missing in our own renditions, and perhaps the drink will transport you to a beachside shack in Malibu.”

The New York Times‘ Pete Wells awards one star to Alison Eighteen, a “perfectly normal restaurant”: “Behind that velvet curtain, Alison Eighteen can feel a bit like seeing a revival of an old play in out-of-town tryouts. The sets look great, but the dialogue can feel a bit strained, and the players need time to learn their lines. The audience looks indulgent, though.”

In The New Yorker, Amelia Lester raves about the salad at North End Grill: “How often do you get to say that the salad is your favorite part of a meal? At North End Grill, in Battery Park City, what is normally the most boring item on a menu–mixed greens–is transformed with an aggressive lime-and-mango-pickle number that begs to be bottled and sold at Whole Foods.”

New York magazine’s Adam Platt gives Neta two stars and considers its “new sushi elite” clientele: “For the new, postmillennial generation of financial titans and Internet billionaires, raw fish is the ultimate trophy food. It won’t give you a heart attack. It’s loaded with subtle snob appeal.”

On Insatiable Critic, Gael Greene samples the dan dan noodles and tea smoked duck at Café China and calls the menu “Szechuan territory in a Shanghai dress.”