Robert Sietsema At Ootoya; Tejal Rao At Sorella
Robert Sietsema goes to Ootoya, also known as "the Denny's of Japan." There's a lot of diversity in the menu and save for the skanky sea urchin, the restaurant did fairly well: "Although we didn't fancy the sashimi, some of the sushi is better, including examples of the Osaka style: pressed in a box, topped with pickled mackerel or salmon, then sliced into bite-size rectangles."
Tejal Rao heads out to Sorella on Allen Street and calls it a "house of pleasure." According to Rao, the missteps are minor: "The classics here tend to shine, but if you're interested in Hearst's less polished--and perhaps more exciting--work, you'll find it in the daily specials, where she plays out of bounds."
One star for Biang! in Flushing by Pete Wells. He praises the low prices and how the recipes are the same. But the transition from stall to restaurant has not been completely seamless: "The servers' notions of what it means to clear a table may not coincide with your own, and the kitchen can appear to struggle with the pace."
Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite checks out the bone marrow and serious cocktails at Lulu & Po. They give the restaurant three stars. They note that the chef has a way with the fruits and vegetables: "He garnishes perfectly roasted beets and their greens with yogurt and pecans; he pairs avocados with crème fraîche and chopped peanuts; his salade niçoise is spot-on; and he yields to none in the art of mingling heirloom tomatoes with local peaches and housemade mozzarella."
Michael Kaminer files in a review for Ken & Cook and immediately criticizes the decor: "Ken & Cook boasts the accoutrements of ye olde 'industrial brasserie' it aspires to resemble, from tin ceilings to subway tiles. But thoughtless details derail the mood, starting with a glaring menu misspelling: 'Oysters Rockerfeller,' anyone?" As for the food, Kaminer takes a liking to the mains: "The home run: An immaculate 20-ounce New York Strip Steak ($39) -- judiciously cooked medium-rare as ordered, charred just enough at the edges, and tingling in spots from kisses of roasted garlic."
Ryan Sutton emphasizes that Rosemary's is not worth the wait. He takes issue with the service and the over-poached shrimp. But Sutton did have some positive remarks to make: "The best entree is the $22 porchettina, a musky, medium- rare pork tenderloin wrapped in even muskier pancetta."
Steve Cuozzo calls Calliope simple and delish: "Nightly specials are worth exploring. Saddle of rabbit came as a trio of generous, bacon-wrapped rounds punctuated with carrots and leeks as if in a terrine, atop a plateful of Puy lentils."
8 W. 18th St., New York, NY