NYT Critics’ Picks: Restaurants

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Restaurant Review: Superiority Burger in the East Village

We all know restaurants where the menu changes daily. Last week at Superiority Burger, a vegetarian medium-fast-food outfit in the East Village, it changed in the middle of my meal.

I was eating a tofu wrap and a salad of tender red-veined chard with pickled onions and juice-heavy blackberries at …

Food

At the Food Sermon, Keeping the Faith in Crown Heights

The cross-shape sign says, “Jesus Saves,” or almost: The first S has fallen away. All along this stretch of Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, battered-looking storefronts speak of miracles and end times. So the Food Sermon, standing on a corner with its windows shining and its name in …

Food

Restaurant Review: The Clocktower in Midtown South

If you hope dinner at the Clocktower will get you a backstage view of the ticking cogs at the top of the former Metropolitan Life Tower, forget it. The restaurant is on the second floor of the New York Edition hotel, which opened in the skyscraper at the foot of Madison Avenue in May. Marriott and …

Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Oiji in the East Village

I’ll get to the heftier items on Oiji’s menu. I’ll praise the pine-smoked mackerel that a mackerel-conscious friend and I have been emailing each other about for a month now. I’ll reminisce about the bowl of buttered rice and stewed beef that seemed boring at first and then not boring at all. I’ll …

Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Chevalier in Midtown

“What’s the matter?” my dinner companion asked one night at Chevalier, the luxurious new French restaurant in Midtown at the base of the Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. “You look like you just saw a ghost.”

Maybe I had. A man wearing an elegantly knotted silk tie had just materialized at our …

Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Untitled at the Whitney in the Meatpacking District

If you can get past the name, a graduate-school groaner that I am supposed to underline, but won’t, there is nothing pretentious about Untitled.

Untitled is on the ground floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Whitney is the second major art museum in the city to choose Danny Meyer to run …

Restaurants

Chicks To Go Serves Chicken and Peruvian Pride in the Rockaways

Golden cans of Inca Kola are stacked behind the counter of Chicks To Go, a Peruvian pollería (rotisserie-chicken shop) that opened in March a block from Rockaway Beach. Invented in 1935 in Lima, Peru, the chartreuse-yellow soda — infused with lemon verbena, an herb native to the Andes, and tasting …

Latin America

Restaurant Review: El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette on the Lower East Side

Just after I accepted the fact that I was in love with a dish called vegan chicharrones locos, a phrase from Freud ran through my head. The phrase was “the return of the repressed,” and it seemed relevant, somehow, to these fried squares of puffed wheat at El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette on the …

Restaurants

Langos Truck Presents the Flavor of Hungary on Four Wheels

If you are Hungarian, langos (pronounced LAHN-gauche) is the taste of summer, of days on lawns overlooking the 50-mile-long Lake Balaton, which those who live in the landlocked nation call the Hungarian Sea.

If you are not Hungarian, you might mistake langos for a small underfurnished pizza and …

Hungary

Restaurant Review: Lupulo in Chelsea

If George Mendes did not have such a strong grip on the flavors and aromas of Portugal, Lupulo might have slipped away from him. It can be a confusing restaurant at first, its messages mixed, its fairly simple concept fuzzed over with complications. But give the place a chance, and you can find …

Restaurants

Kiki’s Greek Tavern Needs No Translation

Division Street is short-lived: It starts off under the watchful eyes of the Confucius statue at Bowery’s southern end, ducks under the Manhattan Bridge, and dies out at Canal Street, less than a third of a mile later.

It’s Chinatown. But when you arrive on its easternmost block, there are suddenly …

Greek Food

Restaurant Review: Rebelle in NoLIta

The night was humid, and I was drinking cold rosé at the black-veined marble counter that faces the kitchen of Rebelle. The couple on my left had rosé in their glasses, too. I did what one member of the pink wine fellowship does when encountering other members, and offered them a taste.

Patrick …

Restaurants

At the Handpulled Noodle, Mom Knows Best

Ding ding noodles do not look like noodles. A better description may be nubs, knots, lumps: on a spectrum with spaetzle and frascatelli, but rougher, more unpredictable in shape and fantastically chewy.

They come from Xinjiang, in China’s far northwest, as does Andrew Ding (the name is a …

Cultural Revolution

At the Happiest Hour, a Cheeseburger Does a Star Turn

When I first heard about the burger at the Happiest Hour, a cocktail bar in Greenwich Village where the décor is heavy on the palm fronds and the soundtrack is heavy on Tom Petty, it dislodged a memory.

I remembered a ritual from the early 1990s, when I worked as a music columnist at a daily …

Cheeseburger

Restaurant Reviews: Noreetuh and the Eddy in the East Village

Any Hawaiian honeymooner who’s been off the plane for more than an hour can tell you that poke rhymes with O.K. and that tuna poke typically means raw ahi cut up and mixed with soy sauce, seaweed and so on.

But the people at the next table were stumped when they saw it on the menu of Noreetuh, which …

Restaurants

Mr. Curry Speaks Its Own Language

The curry at Mr. Curry, a wonderful, evanescent, not-quite-restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, owes allegiance less to a particular nation than to a state of mind.

It is as Indian as curry ever was, which is to say, only a little. The Delhi-born cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey once likened curry to …

Food (India)

Restaurant Review: Blanca in Bushwick, Brooklyn

When Blanca opened in 2012, a 27-course tasting menu served at a counter behind a pizzeria in Bushwick sounded like the setup to a joke. (Second prize is 30 courses.) The restaurant does have its sense of humor, but it quickly proved that about cooking for maximum pleasure, it was unswervingly …

Food

Restaurant Review: Mission Chinese Food on the Lower East Side

When it appeared on Orchard Street in 2012, Mission Chinese Food was slightly unreal. It didn’t seem to follow the rules, or even know that there were rules. The health department and other city agencies knew, though, and after just 18 months, they pulled the plug on Danny Bowien’s hallucinatory …

Restaurants

At Okonomi, Don’t Look for French Toast

The egg lies in a cup like a clouded eye. At the edges, ruffles of white have half-set, wispily afloat in a sauce of sake and soy. The center is mere veil, the yolk a faint glow beneath, firmer than the white but still ready to run. You don’t eat it, you pour it — into your bowl of rice, as you …

French Toast

Tibetan Food Finds a New Home at Punda

Tenzing Tsering grew up as a Tibetan refugee in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, whose Sanskrit name means “abode of clouds,” perhaps because more rain falls there — more than 400 inches a year — than anywhere else on earth. His résumé could be a case study in culinary diaspora: He cooked …

Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Aquavit in Midtown

Time to cheer for Aquavit and its power to defy the forces of gravity.

Time drags down restaurants in New York. It turns hot spots into castoffs and grand dining rooms into whispery museums. Hakan Swahn opened Aquavit in 1987. Over the last 27 years, it made the reputation of one Marcus Samuelsson …

Restaurants

Crêpes Canaveral Spreads Itself Thin

On a drizzly evening, two glum young men peered into the shut window of Crêpes Canaveral. Above them hung a lantern, its candle still unlit. “You really want to go through this for a crepe?” one asked. They tromped off around the corner, but within a minute they had slunk back to wait with the rest …

Cheese

Restaurant Review: Fung Tu on the Lower East Side

It can’t have been much fun for Jonathan Wu, the chef and an owner of Fung Tu, when Mission Chinese Food set up shop virtually around the corner in December. For his first year in business down in the headwaters of Orchard Street, just off East Broadway’s warren of Fujianese places, Mr. Wu was the …

Restaurants

Restaurant Review: Mu Ramen in Long Island City, Queens

Before telling you how impressed I am by the new Mu Ramen in Long Island City, Queens, I want to clear up my role in the demise of the first Mu Ramen.

Last March, I wrote an article about New York’s quickly diversifying ramen landscape. One place I discussed was Mu Ramen, which had found a temporary …

Restaurants

At HanYang BunSik, Snacking Is Encouraged

Don’t be distracted by the tented stalls outside the 24-hour HanYang Mart in Flushing, Queens, with their promises of baked eggs and potato pancakes shaped like hearts. There will be time for them.

Go in, past the stacks of 15-pound bags of rice and the clothing nook. (If you’ve reached the counter …

Food

Restaurant Review: Minton’s in Harlem

The revolution ran on grits, ham hocks, ribs, black-eyed peas and biscuits.

When he opened Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem in 1940, Henry Minton, the first black delegate to the local musicians’ union, knew that jazz players were frequently in need of a meal and a place to give their instruments a …

Restaurants

Memories of Chinatowns Gone By

Once there was a woman on Mosco Street in Chinatown who made nothing but egg cakes, spheres of dough like a waffle’s dimples turned inside out. Each had a near-crisp shell and chewy guts, with a puff of steam cradled between. There were other vendors, other cakes, but hers were the ones everyone …

News (Hong Kong)

Restaurant Review: Santina in the Meatpacking District

The calendar said January when Santina opened early this year. The temperature outside hovered just above freezing. That said January, too.

But almost nothing inside did. Santina’s new glass-box building sits under the High Line like an unwisely located greenhouse, but oranges grew on the branches …

Restaurants

At Casa Del Chef in Woodside, Queens, the Goals Are Lofty

At the end of each day as head cook at Academy of the City Charter School in Woodside, Queens, Alfonso Zhicay hops onto his bike and makes his way a mile south to Casa Del Chef, the restaurant he opened last August near the No. 7 train tracks.

It requires a gentle shift in the mind to go from a gym …

Wine