Restaurant Critic Roundup: 'Exuberant' and 'Compelling' Cooking at New York Restaurant Estela

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

"I never ate anything as extraordinary as this," says critic Alan Richman of New York restaurant Estela.

This week in restaurant news, critic Michael Bauer reviews San Francisco restaurant The Palace. "The restaurant still has the feel of an old-time diner/steak house," he comments. "The chairs are blond wood with arms, like the kind used in a hospital waiting room in the 1980s. The kitchen is open, as are the windows overlooking the very urban corner. A black metal gate blocks off the front door on Mission. The way in is now through a side entrance around the corner, which looks like a service entrance."

In New York, restaurant Estela can only be criticized for the magnitude of people that come to dinner, says critic Alan Richman. "But Mattos's cooking is so exuberant, original, unconventional, and compelling, I don't know how you can keep them away. I don't even know what to call his food. Maybe contemporary, but that's so yesterday. I don't think it's Uruguayan. I've been there, and I never ate anything as extraordinary as this."

Near Los Angeles, restaurant Connie & Ted's "conjures Rhode Island on the West Coast," says critic Jonathan Gold, "be it with clams of all kinds, lobster cooked just right, or oysters treated with reverence."

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: 8/21/2013

Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Alan Richman GQ Estela 2 stars
Gael Greene Insatiable Critic Quality Italian Steakhouse  
Ryan Sutton Bloomberg Casse-Croute 3 stars
Pete Wells The New York Times The Pines 1 star
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle The Palace 2 bells
Jonathan Gold Los Angeles Times Connie and Ted's  
Brad A. Johnson OC Register Wild Goose  
Scott Reitz Dallas Observer Pakpao  
Tom Sietsema Washington Post Malmaison  
William Porter Denver Post Boney's BBQ 3 stars
Robert Moss Charleston City Paper Básico  


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