Today's review roundup includes: 71 Clinton Fresh Food, Yolele, Per Se, Pure Food and Wine, Brasserie LCB, Happy Family Restaurant.
NYTimes Restaurants Frank Bruni gives 71 Clinton Fresh Food two stars (71 Clinton Street; 212-614-6960):
[. . .] In March, Jason Neroni took over, boldly remaking the entire menu, save one dessert, to suit his own fancies and fascinations. He is 28 years old.
Guess what. He is also an impressive, resourceful cook, adventurous without, for the most part, being absurd. He does a riveting trout tartare appetizer, which comes in a densely packed puck of roasted pine nuts, mustard seeds, chives, chorizo oil and, as a final reach for richness, a quail egg. Among his entrees is a delicately fleshy skate wing with a foam that mingles flavors in a tantalizing way, rendering each of them almost discernible but not quite, like a word on the tip of your tongue. This combination, he told me on the telephone, is clove, cinnamon and cocoa.
Thanks in part to Mr. Neroni, who worked at the Tasting Room, 71 Clinton is still vibrant, still relevant. If it no longer packs the adrenaline of a new and unlikely affair, it offers the calmer, more constant bliss of an enduring romance. The foundation of its winning formula remains the same: It weds a contemporary, eclectic culinary sensibility to the scale and intimacy of a neighborhood place, then blesses that marriage with a decidedly downtown vibe. Its servers dress, neck to toe, in black and put an irreverent and often facetious spin on what is, in fact, earnest hospitality.
RECOMMENDED DISHES Trout tartare; diver scallops with pissaladière tart; wild greens and vegetable salad; poached foie gras in dashi broth; skate wing; chicken with morels; seasonal cheeses; warm chocolate cake with peanut butter ganache.
"I am sure she is enjoying herself now in her new kitchen."