The Mark Pleases Sifton; Cheshes, Cuozzo Split on ABC Kitchen

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The Mark is "a very good restaurant," says Sam Sifton, with a straightforward menu that "is so unambitious that it is difficult to fumble." Ultimately, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's latest is "a neighborhood restaurant for a neighborhood sorely lacking in neighborhood restaurants." [NYT]
Previously:
Critics Still Make Vongerichten Nervous

Jay Cheshes finds ABC Kitchen to be "a stunner, as artfully merchandised as the shop that surrounds it," and its "haute green cuisine" proves that "food thats good for the planet neednt be any less opulent, flavorful or stunning to look at." [TONY]
Related: Inside ABC Kitchen

Steve Cuozzo is also at "the loud, hard-edged" ABC Kitchen, where "for all the annoying hype, the green onslaught is a must experience in a year near-barren of compelling openings," and the "sugar-snap pea salad is my favorite new dish." But the restaurant "lets certain considerations fall by the side of the dirt road," including pretzel-dusted calamari that "were baffling in the extreme." [NYP]

At Fatty 'Cue, Ed Levine's "simultaneously crunchy and moist pig meat practically exploded with flavor," and "the American Wagyu brisket was just as spectacular." But it wasn't enough: "Brooklyn is still looking for its first really good barbecue jointAsian or otherwise." [SE]
Related: A Closer Look at Fatty 'Cue

Despite absentminded service that's "half way between charming and ridiculous," Gael Greene thinks Wall & Water feels "rich and sexy, a smart setting for seduction, romantic or financial," with food in which she "can taste promise." [Insatiable Critic]
Previously: First Look: Wall & Water

The "slightly dingy walls" and high prices at La Sirène "are mitigated by how seriously the food is taken, and by the generous portions," says Shauna Lyon. The food at this tiny French bistro is "straight out of M. F. K. Fisher," and the escargots "[elevate] the experience of imbibing copious pools of garlic butter." [NYer]

Talent Thai is "one of the city's best," says Robert Sietsema, and "the food on the aggressively pan-Thai menu is worth whatever wait you have to endure." Of particular note: "a wonderful curried noodle soup thickened with coconut milk called Khao Soi." [VV]