Bruni highlights, along with his love of sushi in general, two reliable and affordable sushi spots—Kanoyama in the East Village and Sushi Azabu in Tribeca—and gives them each one star. Both are seen as relative bargains for the Brunz, and while Kanoyama has the better selection, Azabu has the looks:
"Sushi Azabu is a hidden restaurant, in the manner of Freemans and La Esquina. These hideaways are always catnip for ever-competitive New Yorkers, who relish inside tips and inside tracks that friends and colleagues don’t have. It’s unmarked, of course.
...Kanoyama’s vast, something-for-everyone menu has such stock items as chicken and salmon teriyaki, but it also has red snapper head and blowfish tempura...The breadth of this restaurant’s fish selection is thrilling...Its sushi chefs know their stuff."
Important note here: Franktastic stresses in both the article and the audio slide show that one still needs to order carefully to get out for under $100 a head. [NYT]
Jay Cheshes discovers Todd English's Libertine isn't the "big bonus playground" he expected it to be, giving it three out of six stars: "The pared-down macho menu—served with efficient good cheer—now features plenty of fried things along with sausages, potatoes, a signature burger and food cooked in beer. English...brings his trademark kitchen-sink whimsy to bear on Anglo-American gastropub fare, delivering a mixed bag of always bold, intermittently clumsy, beer-swigger’s dishes." [TONY]
The RG checks on Noho's Double Crown and enjoys the scene, the ambiance, more than the food. She awards it two stars: "In a room this lively you can't pay too much attention to the food. And at Double Crown, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The simple dishes here work well...But this isn't a restaurant given to simplicity...The food at Double Crown is all over the map." [NYDN]
Platt files a twofer on the new chef at Bobo (one star) and Ed Witt's fare at Bloomingdale Road (zero). He finds little to like at either restaurant: While Bobo is "a triumph of style over substance," Ed Witt's efforts are "foiled by a combination of bizarro conception and spotty technique." [NYM]
THE ELSEWHERE: Betsy Andrews files a Round Up/$25 and Under on "sandwiches" at Porchetta, Dogmatic, and New York Hot Dog & Coffee, Ryan Sutton has a twofer on Shake Shack UWS and Double Crown, Gael Greene checks in on the under-the-radar UWS spot Vai, Sarah DiGregorio finds some dosas in Staten Island at Dosa Garden, while Sietsema has some excellent Guatemalan food at Tierras Centro Americanas in Jamaica, Moira Hodgson gives two stars to Yerba Buena, and Tables for Two gets their chance at Matsugen.
THE BLOGS: Ed Levine give an A- to Irving Mill, and Project Me likes it too. Savory Cities isn't so hot on the new Shake Shack, Cleaned My Plate has an excellent time at Picholine, Lifestyle of a Yuppie is disappointed in Obika, and Feisty Foodie has some pulled pork at Daisy May's. For more stories from Eater, go to eater.com.