the other critics

Mariani Digs the ‘American Swagger’ at the Fountain; Freedman Lists 10 Reason to Dine at Le Bec Fin

• John Mariani blew into town recently and left with a litany of props for City Tavern, Reading Terminal Market, Stephen Starr restaurants, and just about everything in between. Of Sbraga he writes, “a four-course dinner you won’t soon forget … at a remarkable price — $49.” He went on to enjoy a “sumptuous meal” at Davio’s. At the Fountain, he took note of chefs Rafael Gonzalez and Peter Rosenblatt’s “cannily maintained… haute cuisine… with American swagger,” and settled in at Opa for former chef Andrew Brown’s “delightful — and not expensive” menu. [Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet]

• From the “impossibly light” omelet and “amazingly elegant, unobtrusive” service to the “perfectly portioned” and the “smoother than Barry White” foie gras, Brian Freedman lays out 10 good reasons to dine at Le Bec Fin. [PW]

• Chicken and biscuits just may be the “sleeper hit” on The Mildred’s bar menu. Still, Adam Erace was equally enthralled by chef Michael Santoro’s “tremendous braised beef rib” and pig trotters seared in caramel. The “poorly seasoned” guinea-hen terrine, and the “one-note celery-root-and-Smokehouse-apple soup” weren’t “so successful.” [Citypaper]

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