Critic Roundup: At TBD, Nearly Everything Has a Fire Aspect

Every week, The Daily Meal rounds up restaurant reviews across America

"Huge flames dance up the back wall and often singe the food being cooked," says Michael Bauer of TBD.

This week in restaurant news, critic Michael Bauer reviews San Francisco's TBD, where "almost everything has a fire component." "Behind the open kitchen you see two sets of hand cranks to raise and lower the grills and roasting platforms," he says. "Huge flames dance up the back wall and often singe the food being cooked. It's so intense that diners can feel the warmth at the tables on the opposite wall of the 50-seat space."

In New York, critic Pete Wells reviews Villard Michel Richard in Midtown, calling it "awful" after the first time eating there, but after two more visits, the latter focusing on the à la carte menu served in the bistro instead of the tastings served in the Gallery, he gives it a “fair” rating. "This seemed like a connect-the-dots conclusion. It’s a restaurant. It’s in a hotel, the New York Palace. And it was awful,” he says. “That didn’t make any sense, though. Born in Brittany but a star in the United States, trained in pastry but adept in every corner of the kitchen, Michel Richard has been one of the most respected chefs in this country since the 1980s. Settling in Washington, he gave the city a restaurant, Citronelle, that earned national fame. Michel Richard was serious. He would not have come to New York last fall to open an awful hotel restaurant.”

In Boston, O Ya's grilled mushrooms with sesame foam come as part of a tasting menu that after wine, tax and tip, cost $462, according to critic Ryan Sutton. "Welcome to O Ya. Yeah, it’s an expensive bar," he says. "Good thing it serves darn good fungi. The chanterelles boast crispy edges and silky stems. The shiitakes are firmer, funkier. And the rosemary oil makes them all reek of sweet pine."

Restaurant Critic Roundup: 1/15/2014


Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Gael Greene Insatiable Critic M. Wells Steakhouse  
Ryan Sutton Bloomberg O Ya  
Brad A. Johnson Orange County Register Red O 2 stars
William Porter Denver Post Curtis Park Delicatessen 2.5 stars
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle TBD 2.5 stars
Pete Wells New York Times Villard Michel Richard 'Fair'
Jonathan Gold Los Angeles TImes Little Sister  
Devra First The Boston Globe Commonwealth  
Eric Doksa Charleston City Paper Locals Bar  
Scott Reitz Dallas Observer The Rustic  

Click here for The Daily Meal's "Top Chefs Review — and Rate — America's Food Critics."


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Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @haleywillrd