Sifton Impressed by Anella; Cheshes Finds Fat Radish ‘Short on Innovation’

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Anella is "an intimate little art house of a restaurant on a block in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that might be a rough part of Paris or an old part of Boston," says Sam Sifton. "The food is a wonder: a tight and focused menu of simple, seasonally appropriate food." [NYT]
Related: Anella Tries Again With New Chef, Joseph Ogrodnek

Fat Radish "is catnip for downtown dandies and other denizens of the fashion flock," writes Jay Cheshes. "The shabby-chic space, as meticulously curated as an Anthropologie store, lacks warmth and personality. The same can be said of the earnest, Anglo-leaning cooking. It’s painfully on-trend — homespun, multicultural, Greenmarket, low-fat — but so short on innovation, this place might as well be an H&M; knockoff." [TONY]

Polonica "is no spring chicken, even among long-running Polish restaurants. But in a cuisine rarely celebrated for its range or poignancy, Polonica stands out," says Robert Sietsema. "This is real winter fare, but you can burn it off in just a few days if you do a lot of shivering and snow-trudging." [VV]

Lavo "is a Midtown Manhattan nightclub that calls itself a restaurant," says Ryan Sutton. "This popular newbie hawks marinara sauce (supermarket quality), garlic bread (even worse), big portions (18-inch pizzas) and fried Oreos (these are gooey and great with a malted shake). If for nothing else, credit Lavo with zeroing in on a segment of the city’s big spenders who couldn’t care less about all the local, seasonal, organic spots crafting dishes from micro-seasonal weeds and exotic organ meats." [Bloomberg]
Related: Lavo's Oreo Zeppoles and One-Pound Meatballs Might Inhibit Dancing

Fish Tag is "almost too complicated, even for the most dedicated waiter to explain. The menu itself is not easily parsed, arranged not by category, but rather going from lightest to heaviest," writes Gael Greene. "Most of the food is very good, even wonderful, with a staccato of flubs. The lemony smoked octopus with chorizo and mushrooms on potato purée is swoon worthy." [Insatiable Critic]
Related: First Look at Fish Tag, the New 'Fish Parlor' From Psilakis and Skeen