Bruni Kills Kurve, Secession Yields Mixed Results

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Frank Bruni is bemused by Kurve — its poor service, its surprise menu substitutions, and its uneven menu. "How do restaurateurs pour this much money and this much vanity into a project and bungle it to the extent that the Kurve brigade does?" he wonders, before answering with zero stars. [NYT]

Secession's "sprawling menu is almost defiantly unfocused," writes Steve Cuozzo. But he likes the "strong execution" of the dishes, the "grand" pasta, and a varied wine list. The front of the house could use some discipline, he warns. [NYP]

Jay Cheshes also hit Secession this week: "The new brasserie features a mismatched polyglot menu as sprawling as a Greek diner’s, served in a chaotic belle epoque setting that’s shrouded in a conversational roar." But, he concedes, "[i]f you surrender to the chaos, dinner here can be a lot of fun." [TONY]

Ryan Sutton's Secession experience was not as good. "Mediocre food, regardless of the price, can feel like a rip-off," he stings. And though he liked the shellfish and some other dishes, "good luck finding them on the poster-size menu with 70 items." [Bloomberg]

Cipolla Rossa on the Upper East Side "has a way of taming the robustness" of the game that populates its menu, but prepare yourself for "endearing shortcomings." It's cramped and the front-of-the-house staff is one person. "Perhaps that's why Cipolla Rossa is so welcomely inexpensive," says Danyelle Freeman. [NYDN]

If you want the "fabulous people following other fabulous people as well as the air of controversial fabulousness," Alan Richman recommends going to the second sitting at Charles. The food is still uneven, but Richman blames it on chef shuffle. [Forked/GQ]

Nick Paumgarten joins the parade of praise for Convivio, calling the pastas "distinct and astonishing," and concluding "There’s a fine array of fish and beast, but in Tudor City, apparently, starch is king." [NYer]

Robert Sietsema travels to Ravenswood, Queens, this week, where he finds Philippu Lounge y Restaurante, a Filipino restaurant that is "consistently excellent" but needs to win over its Dominican neighbors to stay alive. [VV]