One Reluctant Star to Morandi, Big Ups to Fette Sau

Having earlier disposed of Balthazar, Bruni moves on to Morandi and asks: “Is this tribute or burlesque?” Though he doesn’t dig the menu’s “greatest-hits approach,” he concedes Jody Williams’s food is “getting a worse rap than it deserves” (seems he read the Platt review). Final word: “Morandi can simply feel tired before its time, and not quite worth the struggle to get in and stay upright in the scrum.” [NYT]

Spiga, meanwhile, isn’t taking a traditional approach and suffers for it, according to Tables for Two. Chef Salvatore Corea has ideas, but “too many ideas, in some cases”— starting with the cocoa gnocchi. [NYer]

Sietsema brings his own Wonder bread to publicity-starved Fette Sau and finds baseball-bat beef ribs, spectacular brisket, damn good flank steak and shredded lamb “fragrant with the odor of pasturage.” [VV]
Related: Williamsburg’s Weird Barbecue Place

Pete Wells shows off his writing chops for a visit to Italian-Japanese spot Matsumi: “The soft, floppy half-moons [of ravioli] went limp under a pair of chopsticks, like a protester being hauled off by the cops.” [NYT]

Moira Hodgson is more taken with the décor of Anthos than Adam Platt was but agrees the food isn’t there yet: “The first time I came here, the dining room was half empty, and we had a three-star meal … Another night, the restaurant was full and, judging by the unevenness of the dishes that came out, the kitchen felt the pressure.” [NYS]

Reichl on Insieme: “The best lasagna in New York.” [Gourmet]

Eighty-five-degree weather gets Randall Lane in the mood for Ed’s Lobster Bar, home of the lobster-roll-inspired ice-cream sandwich: “Ed’s doesn’t replace Maine or Cape Cod, but it’s nice to find a shellfish shrine a lot closer to home.” [TONY]

Andrea Strong bonds with a cat sitting on a psychedelic quilt in Palo Santo’s garden, finds it a magical place. Nothing to do with the rare indigenous herbs on the taquitos. [Strong Buzz]