Noreetuh serves Hawaiian food, and Wells identifies chef Chung Chow’s biggest hurdle: New Yorkers’ unfamiliarity with the staples of his dishes, writing: “A knowledgeable audience can’t be imported, either… the average New Yorker has almost no idea what the residents of the 50th state eat. Don’t they like… Spam?” There are a few elegant dishes on the menu that Wells believes a Manhattanite should try, like the Spam-stuffed agnolotti with hon-shimeji mushrooms and the monkfish liver torchon with jellied passion fruit, the latter of which the critic names as “one of the most exciting tastes to wash up on Manhattan’s shores this year.”
There were a few dishes and other characteristics that counted against Noreetuh, which were most likely the reasons it did not receive a multi-star rating from Wells. The panko-crusted pork croquettes didn’t impress the critic, nor did a certain poke dish with octopus and fingerling potatoes or the white asparagus with Chinese sausage and egg. The space also lacks ambience, according to Wells, who took special issue with the Taylor Swift-heavy playlist.
The Eddy is just around the corner from Noreetuh, and serves seasonally driven American fare. Wells reveals that he “wasn’t always sold” on chef Brendan McHale’s cooking, but there were a number of dishes that he found pleasing from McHale’s kitchen. The roasted potatoes with rib-eye and Brie were “unimprovable,” and the critic also amicably calls out the soft-shell crab with arugula pesto, the cardamom panna cotta with crystals of rhubarb granite, the fried beef tendon with Greek yogurt and smoky trout roe, and the bacon tater tots.
The restaurant critic had nice things to write about the service, cocktails, and wine list, too. In the end, he pays The Eddy a compliment that is truly a rarity in the New York dining scene: “The Eddy, in other words, is one of those restaurants that gets so many little details right that your main course can be a little shaky and you can still walk out happy.”