This week, Pete Wells lamented the rise of the small plate after a visit to Telepan Local in Tribeca. The American tapas restaurant is a sister spot to the Upper West Side’s Telepan, and has served up small-plate selections in a casual atmosphere since opening its doors in December. Wells was unimpressed, finding the meal “half-formed and unconvincing.”
Of the move towards small plates, Wells wrote: “The old two-course menu has broken down so badly that some restaurants feel no obligation to send dishes out in any particular sequence, even if diners clearly order appetizers and mains, as we did,” adding “the new outpost offers most of the drawbacks of small-plates eating and almost none of the advantages.”
In addition to Telepan Local’s small-plate style, Wells found the taste of the dishes to be largely unimpressive, writing that “a single taste of some plates was too much. With its shrimp poppers — peculiarly bland fried shrimp stuffed with peculiarly bland crab and fish mousse — Telepan Local seemed to be trying to imitate Red Lobster and not quite succeeding.”
He gave the dessert selection a mixed review, writing: “I had one of the worst desserts of the year at Telepan Local, a galette of under-ripe, undercooked pears on a gummy, doughy crust. I also had one of the best. Larissa Raphael, who pulls double duty as pastry chef here and at Telepan, has come up with a champion recipe for coconut cake that is rich like pound cake but lighter — pound cake that could fly.”
For Wells' full review, click here.
Adam D’Arpino is the Restaurants Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDArpino.