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Midweek Special: NYC Restaurant Review Roundup

This week Frank Bruni at the Times lauds Bouley, the new iteration of the French-influenced Tribeca mainstay. You may recall that back in December, Bruni filed a scathing pan of Daniel Bouley's new restaurant Secession, so this three star rave must come as an enormous relief to the chef: "In an era when the trend in restaurants is toward sleek minimalism, Bouley is a thrilling blast from the gaudy past, a reminder of how much pleasure can be had just from being tucked into such opulent chambers and attended with such formal manners." The Post's Steve Couzzo concurs: "It's a must for those fortunate enough not to gag on $40 entrees or a $95 tasting menu." BUT: "If it's downtown edge you want, go to no-reservations Upstairs at Bouley next door, where Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson shunned the wild side with mesclun salad and a hamburger 'as big as her face,' we observed."

Also in the Times, Oliver Schawner-Albright has some love for the oh-so-charming Vinegar Hill House (pictured), which opened near DUMBO last autumn: "It feels like a discovery when you step through the door, even if the fashionably disheveled have been packing the restaurant since it opened in November. Warm and welcoming, the dining room is also always crowded. Fortunately, the food is worth the inevitable wait. A wood-burning oven stands like an altar at one end of the open kitchen, and it brings a measure of depth to something as simple as roasted mussels ($9)."

In the Village Voice, Robert Sietsema reviews West Village ramen restaurant Rockmeisha, which came to his attention after a friend sent him a link to ramen ranking site Rameniac: "There were places on the list I'd never heard of—including No. 4, just blocks from my apartment. That place was Rockmeisha, and I raced over to stare at it." A place Sietsema's never heard of; stop the presses! Later, he eats, and though there are hits and misses, "I felt like I was in Japan." Meanwhile, Sarah DiGregorio has fun getting paid to drink and eat at another izakaya in Williamsburg, Qoo Robata Bar: "The word 'qoo' apparently means a night spent eating copious amounts, 'in a masculine way,' said our server."

The New Yorker's Lauren Collins reviews chef Paul Liebrandt's hot new comeback restaurant Corton, where "the mood is clean and bright," despite the fact that "one recent Friday night, a banquette toward the front of the room was occupied by no less a futurist than the Goldman Sachs C.E.O. Lloyd Blankfein." And Danyelle Freeman at the Daily News finds satisfaction at Chez Lucienne, a modestly-priced French bistro in Harlem: "Chez Lucienne is a place that's meant to be affordable. Pâté, six dollars. House-smoked salmon, nine. Skirt steak entree, 16. What's the catch? There's only one. Silly drinks — the Moulin Rouge, the Blue Ocean, the White Cosmo and the Rose Martini."