The Line: Tomorrow, Frank Bruni reviews Cabrito, the West Village Mexican place helmed by Fatty Crab alumnus David Schuttenberg. The Eater oddsmakers have set the action as follows (√√ denotes the Eater bet):
Zero Stars: 4-1
One Star: 2-1 √√
Two Stars: 5-1
Three Stars: 500-1
Four Stars: 20,000-1
The Skinny: When we heard about this review, our initial reaction was, “Why bother?” It seemed like an obvious one-star place, which in Timesspeak usually means “uneven.” Julia Moskin more-or-less delivered that verdict in a May 2008 Dining Brief. Why give it more ink, just to deliver the same message a mere eight months later?
The only other clue comes in Frank Bruni’s year-end retrospective, in which he says that Cabrito’s “best dishes — including the carnitas with salsa verde and the roasted poblano peppers in cream — match those at just about any Mexican restaurant in New York.” If he thinks Cabrito is a category-killer, it just might be enough to push it over the edge to two stars, provided there aren’t too many duds on the menu.
To be sure, the Eater odds accurately reflect the probabilities, but we think two stars are definitely in play here. This review will almost certainly be an “enthusiastic one” or a “two with caveats.” He has more often done the latter than the former.
The Bet: Our record when we literally “roll the dice” has been mixed, to say the least. Nevertheless, we’ll go out on a limb and predict two stars for Cabrito.