Reynard Re-Review: Brunch

curried kale and duck egg

If you’re looking for a scenic and civilized brunch in Williamsburg where seasonal, New American food is executed very well, then Reynard at the Wythe Hotel is a great spot. I’m normally not a fan of hotel restaurants, which tend to be bland since they need to have a middle-of-the-road approach to please their guests, but Reynard isn’t like that. On my last visit, I fell in love with their cast iron pancakes and was impressed by the originality of their baked eggs with crispy black rice. Sadly, these items weren’t on the menu when I returned in late January, but I did embrace the change, specifically in the form of the sourdough pancake and the frittata. I probably wouldn’t order the curried kale again, as it was a little too soupy for my liking, and the merguez sausage, while an interesting choice, was a very gamey and salty one. Overall, though, despite a few misses here and there, I was generally happy with the food and enjoyed taking in the views from the pretty, well-lit Victorian dining room filled with the attractive people of Brooklyn.    Read More

Ato in Soho

Ato is a restaurant that’s very easy to miss, even if you’re looking for it. It looks like an abandoned retail space from the outside with no obvious signage around. Once you do a double take and notice the menu taped out front, you might be inclined to enter, although you’ll still wonder if this place is fully open. Something about it feels like it hasn’t completely repurposed its original retail space as a restaurant, even though there is an omakase counter and proper tables set up in there. But sure enough, Ato is very much fully operating, despite looking like a work in progress.Read More

The Bombay Bread Bar in Soho

The restaurant industry is tough. Even if you’re a famous, respected chef like Floyd Cardoz pushing the envelope on Indian food at a restaurant like Paowalla in Soho, it’s still not enough to make it. And it’s an even tougher sell when your concept is fancy Indian. Indian food hasn’t entered the mainstream dining consciousness in New York City like it has in London or elsewhere, so I’d imagine people would need to embrace regular naan bread first before going more upscale.Read More

Cafe Altro Paradiso Re-Review: Lunch

chicken milanese sandwich at cafe altro paradiso

When I first reviewed Cafe Altro Paradiso, I couldn’t help but compare it to Estela, its older, more accomplished sister restaurant, and in doing so, I set myself up for disappointment. The food at Estela was quirky and delicious, whereas Cafe Altro Paradiso’s by comparison seemed a little too conventional. It’s been awhile now since I’ve been to either restaurant, so when I recently had lunch at Cafe Altro Paradiso, I felt like I could eat with more of an open mind, as faded memories of past meals exerted less of an influence.Read More

Modern Korean at Soogil

sweet potato beignets

Here’s another elevated Korean restaurant to add to your list–Soogil in East Village, opened by Soogil Kim, who used to be sous chef at some very fancy kitchens, including Daniel and Hanjan. If you’re a fan of the refined and modern Korean cooking at places like Oiji or Cote, then you’ll probably like Soogil’s food.Read More