The Brunster gives Chelsea's small cramped paella spot Socarrat Paella Bar a visit this week, awarding it a solid and positive one star review. Naturally, the write up is an assessment of the signature dish:
"It has a menu of some 20 tapas as well, but they’re not under the spotlight, and don’t really deserve to be. The paellas do.
...These aren’t perfect paellas, not nearly. Sometimes the meat or seafood is overcooked. But they’re better than the paellas at many other Spanish restaurants in New York, where paella doesn’t always fare so well. The rice above that blissful ultimate layer isn’t the least bit dry, and it’s thoroughly infused with oil, with seasonings, with the flavor of whatever’s around."
Alan Richman revisits Gordon Ramsay at the London to see if it really deserves the suspect two stars awarded to it by the Michelin Guide. The answer, a big no: "Ramsay the restaurateur...is well-respected for excellence of service, and to me this restaurant has slipped...It might be the least New York of any upscale restaurant in the city. It could be any place, and I’m sure that wherever it might be, the Michelin Guide will drop by to offer praise." [GQ]
The Cuozz checks in on Le Cirque's annexed Wine Bar Lounge and discovers that after two years of trying, they've finally got it right: "...a savvy redesign a few months back by Adam Tihany protégé Rafael Alvarez made it into a cozy room unto itself...And a remarkably well-priced 'cafe' menu rolled out a few weeks ago - 'after Bear Stearns but before Lehman,' a friend cracked - finally pulled it all together." [NYP]
The RG visits 6th Ave. standby Bar Pitti, and it sound like she would give it three stars for the pesto alone: "All I wanted was a bowl of pesto pasta. And nobody makes better pesto sauce than Bar Pitti...Its perfume is hypnotic, its flavor intense, and suddenly everyone in the restaurant was ordering the pesto pasta. It's a word-of-mouth kind of place. And that's just one of the things that makes it a New York kind of place." [NYDN]
In lieu of a review from the Plattster, the Robs file a rave on Sara Jenkins' two week old sandwich shop Porchetta, awarding it four UG stars: "What elevates it to citywide-attraction and four-U.G.-star-status, though, is the pork. Porchetta’s porchetta is drop-dead delicious, abundantly juicy, aggressively seasoned, and varied in its myriad textures, from the moist, fine-grained loin meat to the chewy fatty crackling, and the little melting baconlike bits that season the potatoes." [NYM]
THE ELSEHWERE: Pete Wells files a Dining Brief on White Star an Apotheke while Julia Moskin tries out The New French, Ryan Sutton enjoys almost all of the Provencal fare at Alegretti, Randall Lane awards three out of six stars to Bed-Stuy's Peaches, Sietsema has some Caucasian cuisine at Kensington's Cafe Sim-Sim, Sarah DiGregorio has a round up of Red Hook eats, Gael Greene weighs in on the renovated Compass, and Tables for Two finally gets a taste of Prospect Heights' James.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine gives an A- to Dessert Club Chikalicious, Always Eating has the first review of Bussaco, Gotham Gal is disappointed in Perry Street, Lifestyle of a Yuppie tries Bann for Korean Restaurant Week, NYC Food Guy finds great burgers and wings at Grand Canyon & Bonnie’s Grill, and the Pink Pig is a major fan of Alegretti.