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New restaurant from chef Omar Rodriguez of the late Think Cafe.

Our Review

"But chef, the food—it doesn’t look nice!" "Stick a branch in it then." The preceding is a wholly imagined re-creation of a plating scenario in the kitchen of Knew, the gracelessly named rebirth of chef Omar Rodriguez’s Western Avenue BYO Think. Based on the number of plates that sail through the dim dining room with tall masts of rosemary protruding over servers’ heads, you wonder if the chef’s fondness for forestry--like his employment of truffle oil--is based on a hope that the neighborhood will be enthralled by such gimmicks. Starters such as the piquillo peppers stuffed with a mushy crabmeat slurry and topped with a gritty gravel of odorless, bitter black truffle invite an early exit. But old-school smoked salmon with creme fraiche and caviar on a crispy latke kept me in my seat only to be disappointed by everything else that came to the table: a colorful stacked beet and goat cheese salad thoroughly leached of flavor, a shrimp bisque with chunks of lobster (and more truffle oil) that left a thick residual cement coating the spoon, a massive chumbucket of overcooked seafood and leathery coins of chorizo tossed with pappardelle in a flavorless broth. Rodriguez’s specials sounded more intriguing than set entrees divided evenly among red meats and pastas, but an overcooked brick of halibut on a mortar of dry mashed potato and a rubbery little poussin buried under a thicket of red and yellow pepper crushed any remaining hope.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, Discover

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