Restaurant Critic Roundup: 'I'll Take The Hotcakes'

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

The New York Times' Pete Wells found it hard to believe, but Calliope's head chef Ginevra Iverson is Californian: "Only someone born in France, I thought, could serve a plate of lamb leg with baked tomatoes that tasted so simple and honest, with no effort to crank the flavors up to American levels." After realizing this, and later ruminating on bistro cuisine's lack of evolution in America for awhile, he gets around to rating the restaurant.

In Washington, D.C., Epic Smokehouse delivers a disappointing performance. Tom Sietsema's impression of the barbecue food there is decidedly not epic: despite head chef Wayne Halleran's assurance that the bacon cupcakes sell like hotcakes, he remarks dryly, "I'll take the hotcakes."

Finally, Providence Cicero heads out to Caspian, a Persian restaurant in Seattle. Cicero found plenty of satisfactory food to recommend (and a few dishes that fizzled out), but the real stamp of approval — and authenticity — came from a native Persian.

From the East Coast to the West Coast, from North to South, the weekly restaurant critic roundup is here for all of your dining out needs. 

Restaurant Critic Roundup: 10/3/2012


Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Pete Wells New York Times Calliope 1 star
Stan Sagner New York Daily News The Redhead 4 stars
Victoria Pesce Elliott Miami Herald Macchialina 3.5 stars
Tom Sietsema Washington Post Epic Smokehouse  
Michael Bauer San Francisco Gate Rich Table 4 bells
Providence Cicero Seattle Times Caspian 2.5 stars
Keli Dailey UT San Diego Table 926  
Devra First Boston Globe Sip Wine Bar + Kitchen 1 star

Check out last week's Restaurant Critic Roundup.

Marilyn He is a Junior Writer at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_He.