Robert Sietsema at Littleneck
Don't clam up.
This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema bites into bivalves at Littleneck, a Gowanus clam shack: "The most spectacular appearance of Brooklyn's iconic bivalve is on a clam roll ($16), featuring full-belly littlenecks with creamy tartar sauce and a few shreds of lettuce for color contrast. Even in Connecticut -- which is famous for its clam rolls -- you can't get a better one."
Eric Asimov snacks at Seäsonal, and is pleased to report that the Austrian eatery serves Wiener schnitzel, even if it's tricky to recognize: "Rather than the flattened, breaded emblem of Germanic taverns everywhere, Seäsonal's schnitzel arrives puffed up, as if it had been inflated with additional flavor, and perhaps a stiff helping of dignity as well. Though prideful, it is crisp and tender, tasting clearly of veal."
Ryan Sutton rounds up his top 10 restaurants of 2011. Among them: Empellon and Fatty 'Cue: "This was the best year for eating out in New York since the Time Warner Center gave us a new dining district just by opening the doors to its high-end food court in 2004. ... This year, culinary risk taking at reasonable prices was rewarded."
Adam Platt finds himself disappointed by Le Bernardin's revamp. The kids, apparently, made the restaurant a bit off-putting: "Is that French hip-hop I'm hearing?" asked one of my slightly disoriented guests as we cooled our heels in the posh little "lounge" area, one of many new features of the slightly disorienting 2.0 version of the great midtown restaurant."
Tables for Two tries La Mar. The critics wished that guinea pig was on the menu: "The large duplex (in the old Tabla space) eschews strong national accents, except for the odd dried gourd lying around, in favor of a generic sleek upscale look."