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Review Recap: Kenmare

Today, Sam Sifton lays a goose-egg (“FAIR”) on Kenmare, the restaurant chef Joey Campanaro probably wishes he could forget:

Joey Campanaro, the man behind a vest-pocket Greenwich Village gem called the Little Owl, and a partner in that neighborhood’s well-received Market Table as well, wrote Kenmare’s menu. He is acclaimed in press reports as Kenmare’s chef. Here’s hoping he is well paid for that. Mr. Campanaro is a serious and excellent cook. Kenmare is unlikely to enhance his reputation…

Entrees continued the trend of mediocrity, time after time. A Milanese-style veal cutlet, essentially a breaded and fried laptop case, was served with lemon, arugula, ricotta salata and a garish, oily salsa verde. (Credit where it’s due: It came this way twice, a month apart.)

Campanaro already had two deservedly successful places, The Little Owl and Market Table. He didn’t need Kenmare. Soon, he will probably be rid of it.

One thing this piece demonstrates is that pans are much easier to write: you just tee up the jokes and hit ’em out of the park. Perhaps this is why Kenmare is one of Sifton’s most entertaining and well-written reviews, despite the relative unimportance of the restaurant.

The fact that our own review arrived at the identical rating (“FAIR”) has nothing to do with it. Promise.

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