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BITE: My Journal
April 14, 2020
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Brooklyn Diner
Sensuous Moments with Shelly…let’s make that “thanks...
January 12, 2020
Wolf in High Heels
A customer service rep will deliver your meal or drink...
January 6, 2020
My Life Eating
How did I ever come to blossom in this strait-laced...
December 23, 2019
A Year of Eating
Soon enough, the chef at The Diner sends plates of

Insatiable Critic

    Collected here are current Insatiable Critic columns and articles that have appeared in New York Magazine over the years going back to 1998, plus a few vintage favorites. (Eventually I hope to scan more.) Many of the restaurants I loved or skewered or had high hopes for are gone. Restaurants land with a splash and evolve or fade away, not necessarily because they can’t find a following. Sometimes it’s a feud between owners, bad chemistry in the kitchen, a chef on his own with no business sense, a divorce, or a landlord issue. These older reviews, roundups and Ask Gaels columns are here for nostalgia or visitors in search of history.

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November 25, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Big City Almond
With its clamorous warmth, its eclectic American menu and reasonable prices, Almond is a haven for these nervous times…

November 17, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
10 Downing At Last
Slow-pokey delays dulled expectations. That’s why food so carefully cooked and jumping with flavor in an early tasting is a wonderful surprise…

October 27, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
I Did It My Vai
Yes, it’s dark in here but once we solve the menu hurdle, dinner by votives in the shadows seems almost romantic…

October 6, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Compass Gyrations
In yet another premature mid-life crisis, Compass has redesigned itself for the third time and emerged looking good with a new seafood focus…

September 30, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
The Most Important Restaurants in Forty Years
What are the dozen (or so) most important restaurants of the past forty years?. Before the reality of space requirements took over, this was what I wrote…

September 15, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Socarrat Paella Bar
This could be the best paella I can remember. It is lushly rich in socarrat--the marvelously crusty rice I’m scraping from the pan…

September 8, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Yerba Buena Beckons
I’ll brave the street’s remnants of grunge for serious cocktails and reasonably priced, fabulous Latino food by partner Julian Medina of Toloache…

August 18, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Sheridan Square Redux
Chef Franklin Becker inherited a dysfunctional work in progress when Gary Robins vanished…Becker has already tightened ship and put his own mark…

August 11, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Nouvelle Delicatessen
The crowd skews young and pretty at this lively new comfort food initiative from the folks at Cafeteria. And what a surprise, this grub is good…

August 4, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Tasting Convivio
Michael White wasn’t happy with less than raves…so he and partner Chris Cannon bolted the door for two weeks and invented Convivio: new look, pared-down prices, a $59 four-course prix fixe, and a wonderful rustic style for the Southern Italian…

July 14, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Matsugen Does Noodles
Clearly, as landlord and partner, Jean-Georges Vongerichten is betting our town’s noodleheads will be moved by the esoteric noodling of Japan’s entrepreneurial Matushita brothers…

June 9, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Hundred Acres/No Mule
There is no mule tethered out front. Beyond that, Marc Meyer and Vicki Freeman have gone all out to evoke their signature farm fresh image…

May 12, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Wildwood Barbeque
Faux smoke and applied grime above the raucous 50 foot bar, and a bold mix of rustic with industrial want to suggest that pit barbeque belongs to the big city…

May 5, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Benoit Inc.
Ducasse’s unabashed need to be embraced by New York has a real chance for fulfillment at Benoit once he whips the kitchen up a bit. Those of us obsessed by our stomachs and nostalgic for tradition have to be grateful he’s salvaged touches…

April 28, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Padre Figlio
I’m transported to Sicily again as I swirl my fork in Gino’s classic bucatini con sarde - sardines, fennel, caramelized onions, pine nuts (too many) - nutty with toasted bread crumbs…

April 21, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Tet/Letter from Home
Tet is the most ambitious effort yet from Steven Duong who won neighborhood hearts when he opened Nam in Tribeca so soon after 9/11…

April 14, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
La Rural On the Grill
An Argentine bistro named for the livestock show in Buenos Aires, looks a lot like its predecessor, Pampa. Same imported Argentine grill…

April 7, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Madeleine Mae Recoup
Notoriously fussy Upper West Siders did not hesitate to chew out star chef Jonathan Waxman’s uneven Southern Creole efforts early at Madeleine Mae…

March 31, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
New Deal at Commerce
If splendid food comes first, we’ll write off the painful din and just shower this historic landmark spot with raves…

March 24, 2008 | Insatiable Critic
Mia Dona Twice
Expect standing room only at Mia Dona, given Donatella Arpaia's East Side groupies... the impassioned fooderati fans of chef Michael Psilakis...

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