This week in restaurant news, critic Jonathan Gold praises The Factory Kitchen's focaccia di Recco, which he says is the latest "battleground" at Los Angeles Italian restaurants. "When prepared correctly... focaccia di Recco is a marvelous thing, oiled dough stretched thin as filo and folded around milky, tart crescenza cheese. When it is baked, the focaccia becomes crisp and translucent, almost weightless, looking closer to a well-made Lebanese borek than to anything you might think of as a calzone," he says. "At The Factory Kitchen, you can also get your focaccia di Recco stuffed with ham or slicked with tomato sauce and strewn with cured anchovies, but the additions are almost beside the point. The essence of The Factory Kitchen's focaccia di Recco is all in its ethereal crunch."
In New York, Kingside's food is more memorable than its name, according to critic Gael Greene. "We are dabbling in small plates ($13 to $20) that first dinner, when suddenly we enter a tilt zone," she says. "Chunks of toast slathered with melted pecorino, whipped ricotta, and a drizzle of honey shock us awake... And what is this? Veal brains. Cervella di vitello in lemon brown butter at what looks like an upgraded burger joint, or a brasserie with diner DNA. We’re nodding and slurping."
In Washington, D.C., the Roof Terrace is the most convenient "prelude" to a show at the Kennedy Center, and the average diner is in and out of the restaurant in one hour, according to critic Tom Sietsema. "The waiters at the Roof Terrace say as much when they greet you. 'Are you going to a show?' they ask in the same breath they bid you 'good evening,'" says Sietsema. "On a recent Friday night, my quartet was the sole remaining occupied table — at 8:45. News flash: We were lingering over a plate of homey apple-quince crisp."
Restaurant Critic Roundup: 12/18/2013
|Gael Greene||Insatiable Critic||Kingside|
|Tom Sietsema||Washington Post||Roof Terrace|
|Stan Sagner||NY Daily News||Hill Country Chicken, Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken||3 stars, 1 star|
|William Porter||Denver Post||Izakaya Den||3 stars|
|Michael Bauer||San Francisco Chronicle||Palmers Tavern||2 stars|
|Pete Wells||New York Times||Marco's||2 stars|
|Jonathan Gold||Los Angeles TImes||The Factory Kitchen|
|Devra First||The Boston Globe||Beat Hotel|
|Scott Reitz||Dallas Observer||Alligator Cafe|
Click here for The Daily Meal's "Top Chefs Review — and Rate — America's Food Critics."
Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @haleywillrd.