The Robs on Fonda Nolita; Crafty Caesar Salads Emerge

Fonda Nolita. Photo: Danny Kim

In this week's New York, Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite drop in to Fonda Nolita, a downtown taqueria that pays homage to its original beachside location in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The Underground Gourmet finds much to like about the tacos "tender, flavorful corn tortillas from the estimable Tortilleria Nixtamal" ... "slow-cooked meat, deftly seasoned sauces, and crunchy, fragrant toppings" and concludes that, "while the accumulated effect doesnt quite conjure the sound of the surf or the scent of sea air, it does make for a somewhat transporting change of pace on the downtown dining circuit, not to mention a nifty destination for a laid-back taco binge"; the spot receives three out of five stars.

Elsewhere in the mag's pages, Rob and Robin call out an emerging trendlet: the creative Caesar salad. As they note, such estimable eateries as M. Wells, Five Leaves, and the John Dory Oyster Bar are tweaking the classic formula, with additions such as smoked herring, Thai chiles, and escarole, respectively. Our critics chronicle the march of fall openings as well; this week they bring news of "modern Japanese" restaurant Yuba, the haute-Indian Junoon, and Provenal import La Petite Maison. And if anyone can gussy up a chestnut, it's Del Posto pastry chef Brooks Headley, who, with the small starch bombs, creates this sweet-savory mascarpone and citrus-zest dessert.