Tom Sietsema swings by Bloomingdale's latest, The Red Hen, and discovers that everything there is smoky.
I'm recalling the Red Hen's twist on a negroni, made with smoldering mezcal, and also its ricotta slathered on crostini. The cheese takes on a smoky perfume from time spent on a lip of the large hearth in Red Hen's open kitchen.
Crostini, beef tongue and rigatoni all make a fine first impression, though he's not sold on the sweetbreads. Also overkill — all the hens featured in the decor. [WaPo]
The $20 Diner column hits up a new kid on the block: Mothership. Tim Carman finds unique dishes such as Louisiana sheephead and "spice route" chicken noodle soup.
Maybe it's the 3 Stars Brewing Co.'s Peppercorn Saison talking — I admit that I sucked down several of these citrusy, slightly spicy farmhouse ales — but already I can't imagine the Park View neighborhood without Mothership, as if Boillon's restaurant actually were a docking station where locals could seek refuge and refueling. Come to think of it, maybe the 87-seat Mothership is the gastronomic equivalent of the P-Funk Mothership, bringing a funky collision of ingredients to the people instead of a throbbing bassline and glitter costumes. [WaPo]
Todd Kliman adds Wiseguy Pizza to his list of places where he's eating right now, and says the Mount Vernon Triangle restaurant has totally nailed the smell of a real New York pizzeria.
This is a by-the-slice operation, for the most part, and the slices are mostly rewarding (the fewer the toppings, the better), with excellent thin crusts that crisp up nicely with a few minutes in the brick oven after you place your order. The best of the bunch is the Margherita, a loaded-up alternative to the spare Neapolitan version and a pie that belongs in the conversation of best in the city. [Washingtonian]
Don Rockwell visits Indian restaurant Masala Art and recommends the lunch buffet.
Rara Gosht was the star of the entire buffet, a steam tray filled up with succulent, well-seasoned chopped lamb that tasted like ? lamb, really *good* lamb. In this dish, you'd find the occasional quartered kokam as well (or at least I think it was kokam). ...This was great lamb meat, having that strong, gamey taste that I *love* in lamb, and was worth the $9.50 price of the buffet all by itself. [DR]