Robert Sietsema at Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna; Lauren Shockey at Onegin
Wish for fish.
This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema explores Astoria's Attic at Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna. He finds that it is charming and fishy: "Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna has a few chairs out front under an awning where, even in cold weather, patrons sit sipping ouzo and smoking cigarettes. Fishermen come to this patio straight from their Long Island berthages to offer the proprietor catches of porgy and baby dogfish shark, wrapped in brown paper and glistening with seawater."
Lauren Shockey tries plates at the Pushkin-themed Onegin. She thinks the fare is fine, though the décor strikes her as bizarre: "Onegin feels like the czarist Russian exhibit at Disneyland's It's a Small World: highly stylized (giant samovars, illuminated birch trees, and oversize cocoon chairs) with annoyingly loud music and slightly pushy service."
Eric Asimov is not crazy about Lupa's loopy mise-en-scène: "It's dinner time, yet entering Lupa, the Roman-style osteria opened in 1999 by the team of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, is about as joyous an experience as trying to squeeze onto the subway at rush hour. You know you will be bumped and jostled, but you don't know which direction it will come from."
Steve Cuozzo has gone against the group grain, lambasting conglomerate-owned clubby restaurants -- those run by EMM Group, One Group, and Tao Group: "Whatever happened to just going out for a nice, orderly meal and going home? Places run by the three outfits are louder than an avalanche. They mimic clubs, with music, VIP rooms/areas and a late-night 'scene.'"