Eaters Journal: Momo Ko, Standard Grill, Sel de Mer

Momofuku Ko: Nonshocker: the place is still brilliant. Since a visit a year ago, they've improved on a couple of dishes (egg, chips, and caviar for one, and the amuses), added a number of new ones (uni in broth was lovely, as was the soft shell crab), and maintained the perfection that is that frozen foie dish. Knowing what to expect, it wasn't as earth shattering this time, and it's hard not to miss Tosi's apple pie and cereal milk panna cotta. That said, it's worth every penny of that $100.—Kludt

The Standard Grill: Friday night, 7:30 PM. Nuff’s been said about the atmosphere, gives McNally a run for money in terms of sheer scene factor. Place is absolutely beautiful. Simon Hammerstein in one booth. Pretty sure that was Balazs walking around, nitpicking everything. Place was packed. Steak Tartar solid. Hericot Verts salad decent, slightly rubbery. Grilled octopus: solid. NY Strip with duck fat potatoes: decent. Spinach side: solid. Snap peas side: wonderful. Comp’d side of potatoes with paprika aioli: wow. Hope they serve ‘em at brunch. Halibut with hollandaise on side: great piece of fish, sauce and preparation was meh. Dessert: ridiculous. Strawberry compote thing was the best dessert I’ve had in recent memory. A bowl of heroin-like high, and I’m not a dessert person. At all. Took home leftovers of the potatoes, spinach, halibut, snap peas. Drunk roommates ate all but the spinach and denied memory of it. Assholes.— Foster Kamer, Gawker, Blackbook

Locanda Verde: How does a James Beard Award-winning chef who worked at Lespinasse, Le Cirque, Café Boulud, and then launched A Voce, top himself? Partner with the right people and cook what you know. The menu plays up wood-fired dishes, like garlic chicken for two, and ingredients he's long loved: The raviolo with mushrooms and truffles could not be any richer or earthy-delicious, and the man works wonders with riccota. He also lucked out by scoring Karen DeMasco as pastry chef; she's showcased in plain view of patrons behind a dedicated dessert counter (her lemon tart with buttermilk gelato and limoncello granita is a scene-stealer at a very sceney place). No, reservations don’t come easily (do you have 90 minutes to wait?). Yes, they do room service. Somewhere, hotel co-owner Robert DeNiro is smiling right now.—James Oliver Cury,

Sel de Mer: Graham Ave. in Williamsburg has become quite the little restaurant row. First Mesa Coyocan comes in with solid Mexican, and right next door we now have excellent, unassuming seafood spot Sel de Mer. The fish is so fresh, so delicious, so cheap that you don't mind forgoing the wine (liquor license pending). And (paging Nick Solares) the burger is not a throwaway. I question the integrity of its English Muffin bun, but that patty topped with onions and pancetta is a force to be reckoned with.—Kludt

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