"But some tricks, like the disappearance of a marble up someone's nose, can be more curious than delightful."- Tejal Rao (recently resigned food critic at the Village Voice, following in the wake of Robert Seitsema who was let go last week), on the culinary sleight of hand at Alder.
"Just as you’re pondering how to say “opportunist” in Italian, the food arrives, and it’s great."- Jeff Ruby on Café Spiaggia in Chicago Magazine.
"It isn’t pretty, this murky brown salad. Take a look at those splinters of green papaya, gnarly rings of fried shallots and clots of air-dried beef. It could be a box of matches spilled in dishwater—certainly too homely for the pages of any respectable food magazine. But we’re evolved eaters here in New York City, too sophisticated to deny ugly things their fair shake. Taste it and understand the moral of a thousand children’s parables about inner beauty: This funky, crunchy bombshell of compulsive flavor might be the most interesting salad in Kings County."- Jordana Rothman on Nightingale 9 in Time Out New York
"The waiter bends low, in his burgundy tuxedo. “Let’s talk about the process,” he says. He refers to the fruits of the kitchen as though they are his. (“All my veal tonight.”) The delays he does not own: “We are working on the drinks.”"- Nick Paumgarten on Carbone in the New Yorker
"You admire and loosen clothing and laugh here, loudly. You order that second bottle, think about dancing to the rumba music, and you think it’s weird that you want to dance to rumba music, and you keep thinking about it anyway. It’s the sort of restaurant that people fall in love with."- Chris Nuttal-Smith on Bar Isabel in The Globe and Mail
"Order skate at SakaMai, and what arrives is not a frond of delicate flesh but a stack of broken wings, still threaded with cartilage and lustrous as capiz shells. They are corrugated and chewy, having been dried like jerky and broiled until the edges are curled to ocher."- Ligaya Mishan on SakaMai in the New York Times
"Witness the talent: from a list of jars to share comes a silky salt cod brandade under a layer of oily parsley purée the colour of a bowling green, studded with thick-cut salt and vinegar crisps for scooping. It's a glorious thing. It's the sort of stuff you get on your knuckles as you dig in unselfconsciously, so that you leave oily stains across the paper menu. At £4.50 it also feels like the act of a restaurant desperately wanting to be loved. As an opening gambit it was effective."- Jay Rayner on Social Eating House in The Guardian