Restaurant Critic Roundup: Charlie Bird a 'Purportedly Italian' Restaurant

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

"Good things are going on at Charlie Bird, some so significant you'll be impressed by what a small restaurant can accomplish, a few so tiny you'll be awed by the attention to detail. Nothing is uninteresting here," says critic Alan Richman.

This week in restaurant news, New York restaurant Charlie Bird is described as "nothing uninteresting" by critic Alan Richman. Chef and co-owner Ryan Hardy, once the private chef for Beyoncé and Jay Z, takes a "non-traditional and improvisational" approach to Italian cooking.

In San Francisco, restaurant Mason Pacific is separated into two distinct personalities, housing a 24-seat front dining room with a casual and cool feel, and a 24-seat adjoining dining room with an old money vibe. The food, says critic Michael Bauer, is "more incongruous than the décor." "The menu is heavy on small plates, with only four main courses, but one of those is a poached chicken salad ($16), a curious dish for a dinner house, and a hamburger ($14) on a pretzel roll that is about as tall as it is round, making it difficult to eat."

In Washington, D.C., critic Tom Sietsema reviews two DC area restaurants. Of restaurant Taco Bamba in Falls Church he says, "If you think all guacamole tastes alike, you haven’t dipped a tortilla chip in the lush green mash" of this "long-awaited" establishment. Of Mockingbird Hill, he points out that co-owner Derek Brown hosts weekly classes to educate on sherry, a prime point of their unique establishment (according to Sietsema, the only "ham-and-sherry source with a punk rock aesthetic" in Washington). 

As always, the ratings range from stars to bells to beans, but every review offers specialized insight into the food, atmosphere, and service of eateries in each city’s dining scene and the critics eating at them.


Restaurant Critic Roundup: 8/14/2013

Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Alan Richman GQ Charlie Bird 2 stars
Gael Greene Insatiable Critic Khe-Yo  
Pete Wells The New York Times Costata 2 stars
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle Mason Pacific 3 bells
Tom Sietsema Washington Post Mockingbird HillTaco Bamba 2 stars; 2 stars
William Porter Denver Post Boney's BBQ 3 stars
Robert Moss Charleston City Paper Warehouse  


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

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Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @atylersullivan