Critic Roundup: 51 Lincoln Well-Intentioned but 'Baffling'

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Every week, The Daily Meal rounds up restaurant reviews across America
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The Boston Globe's Devra First gave 51 Lincoln chef Jeffrey Fournier some spirited advice: "To thine own self be true. Just make sure you keep the customers happy, too."

This week in restaurant reviews, Pete Wells mostly enjoyed the food at new New York spots Cagen and Ristorante Morini, but was vastly unimpressed by the decor at both. At Ristorante Morini, he commented that the chandeliers looked “like grotesque experiments in stretched skin.”

Alan Richman mused on the inspirational, healthy ethos of Broadway’s salad spot Sweetgreen, and gave the food mixed marks.

“The best single food item at Sweetgreen is the avocado, whacked fresh out of the shell,” Richman wrote. “The worst is the baked falafel, in taste and appearance is much like an old sponge picked up from your basement floor.”

Devra First of The Boston Globe found the ambitious cuisine at 51 Lincoln “frequently baffling,” and gave chef Jeffrey Fournier some spirited advice, writing:

“To thine own self be true,” First suggested. “Just make sure you keep the customers happy, too. Ideals don’t pay the bills.”

Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Gate gave high marks to Hong Kong Lounge II, describing his meal as “a succession of pristine, perfectly cooked dishes.” In particular he lauded menu items that hadn’t been Americanized, including Chinese water spinach which was “cooked to that elusive stage where it's at once sweet, mineral-y, soft, and crunchy.”

Restaurant Critic Roundup: 4/30/2014

Critic

Publication

Restaurant

Rating

Devra First

The Boston Globe 51 Lincoln Mixed

Richard Vines

Bloomberg

La Mar

8/10

Pete Wells

The New York Times

Cagen and Ristorante Morini

2/4 Stars

Eric Doksa

Charleston City Paper

Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen Mixed

Alan Richman

GQ Sweetgreen 1/4 Stars
Michael Bauer

San Francisco Gate

Hong Kong Lounge II 3/4 Stars

Zachary Feldman

The Village Voice North River Positive

Scott Reitz

Dallas Observer

Palapas Seafood Bar

Positive

Adam D’Arpino is the Restaurants Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDArpino.