Robert Sietsema at Banana Leaf; Lauren Shockey at The Dutch
Sam Sifton also weighs in on the Dutch, deeming one dish "the culinary equivalent of Jay-Z playing cards in the kitchen of Rao's with Harvey Keitel in the video for 'Death of Autotune.'" Two stars.
Adam Platt approves of Boulud Sud, the latest from Daniel Boulud: "Boulud's knack for breathing new life into aged culinary formulas is also on display among the entrées, although this being Mediterranean food, his most satisfying experiments tend to involve seafood or lamb."
Ryan Sutton is less taken with Boulud Sud, proclaiming it "a lovely restaurant, but this Lyonnaise chef needs to make the flavors of the Mediterranean sing out and pop as they should."
Steve Cuozzo visits Brushstroke: "[Chef Isao] Yamada coaxes extraordinary effects and heart-stopping flavor chords from ordinary-sounding ingredients -- among them, seaweed, mustard and dashi, the bonito-flavored stock so elemental in Japanese cooking."
Jay Cheshes also sings the praises of the Dutch, which "seems destined to join the ranks of those neighborhood classics. Like the diverse crowd, the food -- from virtuoso Andrew Carmellini -- is eclectic: His rollicking menu reflects our increasingly free-form eating habits with loving homages to Chinatown, the barrio, Little Italy and the full range of midtown, from its oyster bars and old chophouses to its taquerias and noodle-shop dives."
Tables for Two revisits Roberta's, where the pizza is just the beginning: "Chewy and perfectly enticing, it comes from a wood-burning oven up front, and features highbrow ingredients (speck and sopressata) and lowbrow names (the Cheesus Christ). Still, it's easy to get distracted by the more sophisticated stuff coming from the back kitchen."
Gael Greene indulges in the messy menu at Cantina by Casabel: "This is the sloppiest food I have ever eaten. The Senoran Dog, bacon-wrapped frank stuffed into a soft roll piled high with pinto beans, tomato, onion, then slathered with mayo, mustard and more fresh cheese cannot be hoisted up without erupting. I send it back to the kitchen to be sliced in half. ... The $12 hamburgesa is a slovenly challenge too. But definitely worth it."
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