Where should you take that friend who loves to complain about poor food and worse service? What about that 4AM burger craving? This week’s restaurant reviews had the answers to these questions and more.
Agua Dulce, a new pan-Latin restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen received a whopping 1.5 stars from The New York Post. A “frisee salad with Manchego cheese that contained no Manchego”, “fussy, slimy, salty” Salmon ceviche, dry Chicken and cod that tasted like “generic schnitzel” left much to be desired. The grilled salmon, tea-braised short ribs and molten chocolate cake fared better, but don’t expect your mediocre meal to be pleasant. The wait for an entrée can take up to an hour and Executive Chef Ulrich A. Sterling is prone to rebutting his bad reviews online and elsewhere.
Best place to: Dine with that friend who likes to take their anger out on waitstaff.
A Voce, a new Trattoria on the third floor of the Time Warner Center, is probably a better bet. Time Out New York gave the restaurant, under the tutelage of Marlon Abela and executive chef Missy Robbins, 4 out of 5 stars. Recommended dishes include the “butter-soaked” ricotta gnocchi and grilled chicken marinated in roasted garlic, lemon and dried Calabrian chilie. Be sure to order the Irish Italiano—which is a drink.
Best place to: Go for dinner after work.
The New York Times gave Imperial Palace, a Cantonese offering in Queens, 1 star and a pat on the back. Reviewer Sam Sifton calls the restaurant informal, imperfect, slapdash but sophisticated. You’ll also have to deal with the noise, the crowds, the wait and the pressure to give up your table as soon as you’re finished. Barring all that, the food will be great. You’ll want to try the clams—either cooked in black-bean sauce or in a Vietnamese style clam casserole.
Best place to: Have an authentic, quick meal with friends before you go out on the town… in Queens?
New York Magazine gave Bill’s Bar and Burger, aptly located in the meatpacking district, 4 out of 5 stars. This bar and grill is the latest venture of Stephen Hanson, who’s responsible for the Mexican chain Dos Caminos. Bill (whoever he may be) makes a “tender, juicy, mouthwatering, remarkably flavorful” Shake Shack-esque burger that doesn’t quite live up to the original. The restaurant stays open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Best place to: Quench that burger craving after a night of clubbing.