Our own Robert Sietsema surveys the latest barbecue offerings from “the East Village to Gowanus,” and finds worthwhile rib-stickers throughout the boroughs. His saucy list of favorites includes Daniel Delany’s BrisketTown, “which obsesses on beef brisket smoked in a trailer located just off Flushing Avenue,” the “barnlike” Mighty Quinn’s in the East Village, and Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue (word to the wise: order the coleslaw).
Also at the Voice, Tejal Rao visits Salvation Taco, the new Mexican restaurant in Midtown’s Pod Hotel. The “tchotchke-fileld” spot from April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman offers “casual drinking food, small plates to keep ordering until you’re full or ready to move on to the next place.” Rao advises bringing friends and ordering a whole lot of tacos. She also notes that the “nonlinear service we were experiencing might work as a model for chaos theory, at least at a TED talk.” But the clamor is not a dealbreaker; rather it’s part of the restaurant’s charm.
NY Times critic Pete Wells drives to Staten Island for Sri Lankan bites at Lakruwana. FYI, it’s “less than 10 minutes from the toll plaza,” and creates an atmosphere that, at times, feels “spectacular.” The restaurant specializes in food you can eat with your hands like “chicken in a chile sauce with a balance of sweetness and spice; sticks of pineapple in a lightly hot curry paste soured with tamarind; chopped kale mixed with coconut… fat yellow lentils stewed in coconut milk with the warming flavors of mustard seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks.” Wells heads back to his borough satisfied, and awards the restaurant one star.
And now for a big one: NY Mag‘s Adam Platt reviews the revamped Eleven Madison Park. The restaurant, which shut down briefly last summer to create an epically exhaustive $195 tasting menu, is still making daily tweaks to its formula. Though Platt sees through many of the “gimmicky” offerings, he deems the dining experience to be one of the most “interesting and unpredictable” in the city. He gives the restaurant four stars.
Time Out‘s Jay Cheshes tries the “new-wave sushi” at Chez Sardine, Gabe Stulman’s Japanese-inspired restaurant in the West Village. Cheshes finds that “the chef’s edgier sushi creations are a more significant departure from the ancient art form he’s messing with,” like braised veal tongue with sweet ponzu. But Stulman “knows how to conjure enough off-kilter electricity to fill seats for this offbeat cuisine,” and the place is worth its weight in uni.
NY Post‘s Steve Cuozzo initially seems to enjoy Sirio, the posh Midtown bistro from Le Cirque owner, Sirio Maccioni, where the atmosphere is “more convivial than clubby, with a mellow vibe that brightens the plush-polished, brown-on-beige surroundings.” But, wait — there is a “baffling black hole” of a menu and simple options go from “no-brainers” to “brainless.”
At the Daily News, Stan Sanger finds little fault with Harold Dieterle’s new West Village restaurant, The Marrow. Sanger writes of the chef, “[his] inspiration is literally home, his menu a playful homage to familial food influences: the right side to his father’s Germanic roots and the left to his mother’s Sicilian heritage. He does both sides equally proud.”
Bloomberg‘s Ryan Sutton thinks he’s getting punked — literally — at The Arlington Club, where the food, service, and freezing dining room temperature are as offensive as the price of the meal. Some of the kitschier menu items appear to be a “haute hat-tip to TGI Friday’s”; it “doesn’t quite work.”
At the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield thinks Crown Heights’ Mayfield “steps into many of the pitfalls of the modern restaurant,” with a mildly annoying focus on locally sourced everything. But the delicate fish and vegetarian offerings make up for twee accoutrements and the Mayfield (as in, Curtis) is worth a visit.