Tejal Rao visited pizza legend Patsy Grimaldi’s new outpost, Juliana’s, where the pies are made with an old-fashioned touch — cheese first, sauce last. The method allows the “tomato sauce [to] protect the cheese like sunblock,” Rao writes in her review of Juliana’s.” The benefits of such care are clear in the final product, as Rao notes, “the pies are milky white on top, the cheese in thick, Rubenesque proportion, smudged with a clean, bright red sauce and a few wilted basil leaves. The bottoms are brown as if the char were painted on in watercolors, and each bite carries the flavor of the oven without being scarred by it–the crust has a thin shell of crispness, but it’s soft and chewy inside.” Sounds like there’s a new thin crust in town.
Also at The Voice, Robert Sietsema checks in at the latest restaurant in Gabe Stulman’s Little Wisco mini-empire, Chez Sardine, where the name is a nod to “the crowdedness of the room.” While the place is labeled an izakaya, Sietsema writes in his review of Chez Sardine that the theme is “somewhat confused.” However, that’s not much of a concern considering that the restaurant “often diddles spectacularly with Japanese food,” as well as other culinary styles.
At the NY Times, Pete Wells digs the understated elegance of Elizabeth Falker’s pizzas at Krescendo. “Things at [the Boerum Hill restaurant] are not as modest as they initially appear,” and Wells falls hard for a roasted fennel crust. He awards the restaurant two stars.
NY Mag’s Adam Platt visited two new spots this week, Tribeca Canvas and Pig and Khao. Of the former, he finds that much of the menu has “crowd-pleasing qualities” (read: fried), however he also notes that, “at this helter-skelter Morimoto production, this key ingredient is clearly missing.” Pig and Khao, on the other hand, is an “Asian Hipster destination of a much more familiar kind.” Platt recommends the “sausage-laced” mussles and the “Thai-style whole fried fish.”
The chic Chinoiserie is gilded with a Las Vegas touch at Hakkasan, according to the Daily News’ Michael Kaminer. And while meat, fish, and veg “taste topnotch,” the food does not always get top billing at this splashy restaurant. Kaminer says, “it’s hard to shake the sense you’ve entered a splashy theme eatery engineered to pry gelt from giddy gamblers.”
At the NY Post, Steve Cuozzo also dines downtown at Tribeca Canvas, but isn’t the least bit impressed with the celebrity chef-helmed restaurant. Rather than finding “creative Japanese food” Cuozzo feels that, “the menu pays homage to Morimoto’s chutzpah in thinking he can sell anything to downtowners with grown-up dough and 16-year-olds’ tastes.”
On a more postive note, the New Yorker’s Siliva Killingsworth enjoy the “charismatic food” emerging from the kitchen at L’Apicio. She offers the following advice, “Diners looking to bowl a strike should aim straight down the middle column of the menu, which lists pastas and polentas. Salads can miss, but when they hit they redeem the entire category.” Overall, the “hotel lobby” atmosphere shouldn’t deter diners.
Jay Cheshes goes on a brisket binge at Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue and BrisketTown. He finds the “big tent” approach of the first location to be “great for groups,” however “there’s an opposable dud for every triumph on the wide-ranging menu.” At Daniel Delany’s BristketTown, “a few things [are done] really well in the Texas tradition.” He deems the place a “traditionalists barbecue shrine.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2013