Lauren Shockey Has Fun at the Cannibal; ‘Tables for Two’ Finds the Leopard at Des Artistes ‘Un-hatable’


Just in time for Halloween, Lauren Shockey checks out frighteningly named the Cannibal a bodega for trustafarian foodies. Lunchtime sandwiches are a highlight, in particular the egg-salad version and a well-balanced Cuban. For dinner, forgo the tempting cured meat plates and try the sausages and pâtés: sweet, juicy Italian links, a lovely lamb-neck terrine, and the duck liver mousse with a decadent bacon jam (!) are the most delicious. Shockey had the most fun, however, when she ordered the half-pig's-head with friends about as close as you can get to experiencing life as an actual cannibal. As for the 300-plus varieties of craft beer, let the knowledgeable (if somewhat harried) staff ... guide you on the way to drunkenness. [VV]

Ryan Sutton revisits the redesigned Le Bernardin to find the perfect synthesis of food and style. The formally austere setting is gone, replaced by satisfyingly comfortable combination of leather banquettes, teak panels, and a warm palette of dark brown and light metal. The food is still the star, with such highlights as a gossamer tuna on foie, delicate yellowfin with dashi, quietly brilliant foie and langoustine, and Riperts best dish: caviar served over gnocchi, sea urchin and geoduck clam. [Bloomberg]

Robert Sietsema visits Catania in Brooklyn Heights, a snack shop where the service is lacking and most of the entrees are misses, but many of the snacks are deliriously good. Caponata is a slippery, sweet-sour delight, and the parmigiana is a delicate, simple classic. However, except for a dish of sardines, the smallish main courses are entirely forgettable, and sandwiches and salads arent worth ordering till youre tired of ordering everything else on the menu. [VV]

"Tables for Two" discovers that, despite the awful name, the Leopard at Des Artistes is a convivial, unpretentious place ... practically un-hatable. With the Sicilian menu, simple is better. Burrata is upstaged ... by plain old mozzarella and tomatoes. A dish of pappardelle and rabbit was, surprisingly, less flavorful than pasta alla Norma. In terms of entrees, the dorado and the tender veal are the winners. [NYer]
Related: More Burgers and Bourbon [NYM]

Interim critic Eric Asimov awards Salinas two stars, determining that New Yorks Spanish restaurant culture is the better for it. Classic, simple tapas from garlic bread to jamón Iberico are delicious and you cant go wrong. But venture out of your comfort zone a bit and youll be rewarded: The cutting-edge octopus and potatoes is arresting. The selection of entrees thankfully includes the chefs suckling pig, a brilliant rosejat rápida, and a chicken dish that is moist and delicious in a way that other chicken breasts can only envy. Desserts are predictable but well done, especially the most classic torrija caramelizada. [NYT]
Related: Twee It Is Not

Betsy Andrews rounds up some new establishments specializing in haute bar food. It used to be that when you went to a bar, you got a free bowl of peanuts, but no longer. Her favorite drink accompaniments at the Cannibal are the gloriously juicy boudin blanc and the knockout plate of corned beef tongue. Even the few non-meat items succeed, from the creamy smoked bluefish to the delightful curried egg toast. Eschew the big plates for the smaller, she recommends, at both this place and Park Slopes new Blueprint, where well-curated meats, handsome salads, and a masterful bruschetta rule. Over at , the pop-up restaurant in a local dive bar is creating exciting pizzas. [NYT]