Point-Counterpoint on Hundred Acres; Two ‘Times’ Stars for Szechuan Gourmet

Szechuan Gourmet is hot, hot, hot, says Frank Bruni, and he likes it that way — so much so that he gave the place two stars. “It’s fickle, tricky, fierce. It can light a match to your tongue, numb your lips, snap you to attention and do a job on your stomach that lasts a good long while.” [NYT]

Paul Adams gives one of his most enthusiastic reviews in a long time to Haute Barnyard newcomer Hundred Acres. Listen to this! “Hundred Acres is impressive, the kind of place where ‘seasonal’ isn't just a buzzword, but where you actually look forward to returning season after season to see what new ideas are blossoming.” [NYS]

Jay Cheshes, on the other hand, wasn't as impressed by the place. He's skeptical of the whole approach, and the food he found “pretty as a picture and mostly boring as heck.” [TONY]

Alan Richman likes Persimmon a lot — "Small portions, extraordinary care, and fine ingredients go a long way" — but he doesn't buy into the notion of it as an alternative to Momofuku Ko, “which it resembles hardly at all.” [GQ]
Related: Kimchic [NYM]

Restaurant Girl saw fit to give Sheridan Square two stars, but that was based on Gary Robins's food. Now that Robins is gone, the review (which was mixed anyway) is moot. [NYDN]

Ridgewood's Pharoh Cafe, Robert Sietsema wants us to know, is primarily a hookah bar, but the food is good. He doesn't make it sound so appealing, though: “Best of all, though, was the miloukhia soup ($12), a dense green swamp with a slimy texture.” Mmmm! Driver, take me to Ridgewood! [VV]

It's Mike Peed's turn to write the "Tables for Two" review in The New Yorker, and he bestows plenty of praise on Adour's “exquisitely executed” food after the requisite droll needling. [NYer]