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Robert Sietsema checks into Casa Enrique in Queens, whose menu provides a window into the rarely seen cooking of Chiapas: “The chocolate-tinged mole familiar from NYC’s taquerias is here called mole de Piaxtla, referring to a town in southern Puebla. You can get it with roast chicken or poured over chicken enchiladas. The version at Casa Enrique is only marginally better than other renditions around town.”
Tejal Rao heads to Chop Shop, which has an Asian menu for the Chelsea crowd: “Zha Jiang Mian ($12) is an endless, greasy kiss–long, stretchy wheat noodles in a sweet sauce of ground pork and brown bean paste. Shell-on salt-and-pepper shrimp ($13) are hot and light as they should be.”
Adam Platt tries South American joint Raymi and gives it one star. He wasn’t too keen on the atmosphere, but liked the food: ” The ceviche selection is limited by the standards of other cebicherias around town (there are only four to choose from), but they’re served in bowls to promote sharing, and the best of them–the delicious Asian-accented salmon chifa scattered with peanuts and bits of crunchy wonton–was so good we ordered it twice.”
Pete Wells reconsiders a 2008 Times review for Le Cirque in where they got three stars: “In a series of meals since the late spring, Le Cirque classics like steak au poivre, Dover sole almondine and even the famous chocolate soufflé lacked conviction. New dishes lacked rationale. Nearly everything lacked seasoning.” His verdict: one star.
Wells also logged in a review for the new Eleven Madison, where he bashes the restaurant for including too much narration in the four hour revamped meal: “Eleven Madison Park is manipulating sense memories, but it seems not always sure how to harness them. By summoning them with words, the restaurant repeatedly forces a comparison that may not be flattering to what’s on the plate.”
Ryan Sutton checks out Atera’s $700 for two menu where allergies are forgiven, but aversions are not: “Serving food that looks like one thing and tastes like another is a common trick of modernist cuisine. You don’t really want to eat a rock, so you’re happy that it’s almond sable covering bergamot sorbet.”
The New Yorker is over at Reynard where the service is friendly and loose: “In some ways, Reynards offers what one wishes a dining experience in Manhattan would be: kindness instead of attitude, inoffensive prices, glorious food, and aesthetic variety–the clientele is split roughly in half between the stylish and the schlumpy.
Stan Stagner is at the Hurricane Club, where the crowd is better than the food: “A ring of sweet scallops a la plancha ($31) started pleasantly, sharing its plate with summery corn and peaches. That nice surprise turned nasty, though, with a grim bite into a gritty, raw scallop that appeared to have bypassed the grill altogether.” He gives it one star.