The main reason we read restaurant reviews is to figure out which spots are worth hitting up, but we can’t deny the pleasure of a takedown or a snarky line. Welcome to #KnivesOut, where we bring you the bitchiest lines in this week’s crop of reviews.
“Apparently there are people who believe that the Internet has made restaurant critics irrelevant. I’d like to direct their attention to this text from the ABC Cocina Web site…If that gives you a vivid picture of what is in store for you at this three-month-old establishment, stop reading and use the free time that now stretches out before you to do something nice for a stranger. If, on the other hand, you found a few passages somewhat hazy, I’ll be happy to do my job.”—Pete Wells likes ABC Cocina, but not its website.
“At Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new “Spanish- and Latin-inspired” party barn, forget Nuevo Latino. This saucy little sister to ABC Kitchen is something new: Zero Latino.” — Steve Cuozzo doesn’t think as highly of the same restaurant.
“Scallop ceviche is so soupy, I don’t recognize the appetizer when it shows up — at the same time as everything else we’ve ordered, forcing us to give up that crab guacamole to make room on a too-small table. (Not a problem, frankly)…The only thing clear to me is the exit.” — Tom Sietsema files a takedown of Todd English’s MXDC.
“I was excited when they announced the salon menu, giving those of us who don’t have much expendable income a chance to sample what’s going on in the kitchen. What I found was a parade of gorgeously executed dishes that inspired the same feeling I have for a Baroque landscape or a John Williams score: I respect and admire the skill and technique behind them, but they often leave me utterly unaffected.” — Anna Roth isn’t impressed by Saison’s stab at populism.
“Staring [the side dishes] down, it’s hard to find something that sounds appetizing. I went for totally un-Paleo chickpeas as a “base,” with pulled pork as the meat and Brussels sprouts chips “on top.” They arrived in a shallow bowl, with components not layered, but plopped in next to each other. The chickpeas were bland, hard and oily, the Brussels sprout leaves (also oily) so much less interesting than they sounded. This wasn’t a dish; it was a primitive punishment.” — Leslie Brenner finds H.G. Fly, Houston’s newest Paleo restaurant, has some kinks to work out.