Robert Sietsema, Illustrated, at V-Nam Café; Lauren Shockey at Saro Bistro
Sam Sifton raves over M. Wells: "Those who recall the thrill of eating at the Momofuku restaurants for the first time would do well to book passage on the No. 7 train, bound for Hunters Point."
Steve Cuozzo doesn't mince words in his takedown of Ember Room: "clunky Asian-barbecue dishes served by discombobulated waiters, in a room dominated by a suspicious-looking elephant and ferociously air-conditioned on a 28-degree night."
Adam Platt awards two stars to Fedora: "[Chef Mehdi] Brunet-Benkritly is capable of cooking with a light, classical touch, but most of the earthy fusion recipes at Fedora are designed to be consumed in a happy lather, with flagons of ale. ... With its nose-to-tail bistro fare and ancient speakeasy pedigree, Fedora can feel, on crowded evenings, like a woolly, cut-rate version of the Minetta Tavern."
Ryan Sutton is thoroughly unimpressed with Red Rooster Harlem: "New York has plenty of great soul food joints. Red Rooster, which hosted a $1.5 million fundraiser for President Barack Obama last week, isn't one of them. Sorry."
Meanwhile, Tables for Two is rather taken with Red Rooster Harlem: "Red Rooster has the unfakable atmosphere of a place that is comfortable with itself. Staff and diners alike seem happy to be there, and Samuelsson and his executive chef, Andrea Bergquist, have effortlessly integrated fusion elements spanning fried chicken, spongy Ethiopian injera bread, and Swedish meatballs."
Gael Greene has a lot of love for Pier 9, "Eric Hara's new more-than-a-fish-shack, less-than-a-seafood-palace on landlocked Ninth Avenue. ... Does this mostly successful mix of the serious, the sublime and the silly seem like a reach for Ninth Avenue?"
The Metromix editors find hits and misses at Social Eatz: "[Angelo] Sosa has smartly tapped a concept -- Asianized American comfort grub -- that's been shaping the culinary zeitgeist these days, and Social Eatz's mix of wallet-friendly prices and familiar-yet-not-familiar dishes boosts its appeal. It's far from a home run, though, with a handful of winning dishes marred by others that score in concept but not execution."
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