Our own Tejal Rao reviews Bill’s Food and Drink, a “flashy John DeLucie joint.” Bill’s Food and Drink is the recently revamped former speakeasy that once held Bill’s Gay Nineties. The Midtown restaurant is “cluttered with maps, Victorian portraits, and taxidermied animal heads… it can feel like the wedding reception of a wealthy, well-connected acquaintance.” The partygoers in this crowd “come to the new Bill’s for a piece of protein and to take in the scene.” If that’s all you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed.
Also at the Voice, Robert Sietsema bids lesbians adieu at Swine, in the West Village. The space, once belonging to the girl-bar Rubyfruit, lives up to its moniker. In his review of Swine, he writes that “one would assume that, consistent with the name, it would be mainly pork products, with belly and bacon scattered around like Easter eggs on the White House lawn come springtime,” but the “expansive menu” features “plenty more to love” in case you’re more concerned with looking like a babe than eating one.
At the Times, Pete Wells ushers in 2013 by heading to Jersey City’s Thirty Acres, where chef Kevin Pemoulie “cross[es] borders and jump[s] oceans without leaving the kitchen.” And despite its oft-mocked locale, “a restaurant like Thirty Acres would be a find in any state.” He awards the restaurant two stars.
NY Post’s Steve Cuozzo argues that the Arlington Club “is the city’s finest new steakhouse since Minetta Tavern,” but suggests passing on the restaurant’s sushi menu. The Upper East Side restaurant, from chef/partner Laurent Tourendel and the unce-unce-heave Tao group, is both glitzy and old-world. Local “big-spenders” often trade glares with the young “mobs mill[ing] as if at a Bushwick loft party.”
Also on the Upper East Side, Stan Sanger at the Daily News visits Czech ale-house Hospoda, where “meals begin (and most end) with beer.” And while chef Katie Busch’s menu “may begin in Prague…her culinary wanderlust is revealed in dishes drawing inspiration from across the EU.” Try the wobbly and seductive Parmesan poached egg ($18) but stay for the “think plank” of veal schnitzel ($29).
At The New Yorker, Amelia Lester discovers “further proof that Brooklyn is set to become the new Manhattan,” at La Vara. The tapas restaurant draws on Moorish and Sephardic flavors but also draws in chic family crowds. Lester notes that “it’s hard to get out for less than seventy dollars per person, but there seems to be no shortage of parents with strollers who are willing to pay more than they are accustomed to for a meal that is hard to fault.”