food 07.5.17

Critics Scorecard

Pete Wells of the NY Times, gives 2 stars to Jean-Georges Vongerichten's vegetarian ABCV in ABC Carpet. Wells writes, "It is the sort of restaurant where the menu has a preface. ABCV, it explains, 'is here to serve, inform and inspire a cultural shift towards plant-based intelligence'…I found the menu's prose mildly indigestible, but the food it describes is light, colorful, fresh and easy to like."

Robert Sietsema of Eater has something of a blissout at Fiaschetteria Pistoia, 647 E. 11th [B/C] 212.777.3355, a local outpost of the original trattoria near Florence. "Real Tuscan restaurants in the city have remained rare. Some of the best have been founded by expat Tuscan chefs like Rita Sodi (I Sodi and Via Carota) and Cesare Casella (the now-closed Beppe and Maremma). Now we have another: Fiaschetteria Pistoia… In the back corner is a pasta-making machine, and one of the cooks frequently steps out of the kitchen to tend it, making pastas that, if not all Tuscan, are uniformly delicious."

Gael Greene, the Insatiable Critic, samples the tapas of Philly chef and empire builder Jose Garces at Ortzi, 120 W. 41st [Bway/6th] 212.730.8900, in the Luma Hotel. "The kitchen, carved out of this restricted space, is so small that the expeditor stands in the dining room directing the flow, with piles of dishes stacked in full view at his feet… [The] menu is loaded with delicious surprises, Basque style tapas, casseroles and grills. I start sending friends there after just two dinners, pleased and excited by almost everything I've tasted. Except for some over-salting…My friends live in SoHo and usually walk to dinner at a few favorite places nearby. But when they travel overseas, they explore, carrying lists of places recommended by food-obsessed pals. Tonight they're thanking me for a dinner of surprises on a block they've never come to."

Under the headline 'The Upper East Side finally has a great outdoor restaurant,' the NY Post's Steve Cuozzo reviews Flora Bar in the Met Breuer. "Flora Bar opened last fall in a room warmer than an underground, granite-and-concrete space has any right to be. Now, it's debuted a cool, austere dining terrace that makes for the best al fresco eats north of Bloomingdale's since Cafe Boulud first plopped a few tables on the sidewalk…Dishes that sound mundane and appear simple, such as 'chicken, celery and apple' ($32), are anything but. A wedge of boneless breast is drizzled with olive oil and topped with crunchy bok choy and celery, and sits in a pool of apple juice and kohlrabi. The chicken is cooked to supple, flavorful perfection on the plancha with a discipline and technique rare in these often culinarily uninspired parts."

Grub Street's Adam Platt reviews Ben Lowell and Sara Leveen's "fine little East Village restaurant" Hanoi House, 119 St. Mark's Pl. [1st/A] 212.995.5010. "Neither of the young owners behind Hanoi House is much involved in the buzzing food scene in Vietnam…but both are veterans of Stephen Starr's successful, far-flung hospitality empire (Buddakan, Upland, Le Coucou, etc.), and they clearly have a feel for the elusive alchemy of comfort, style, and quality that goes into building a popular dining destination in this mysterious, helter-skelter restaurant era. The same goes for their chef, John Nguyen."

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