Chronicle critic Alison Cook visits Arturo Boada Cuisine in Memorial, which she awards one star to the Italian/Continental restaurant despite its high noise level and uneven execution. She wonders "What was the chef thinking with his Mama Sonia's Ravioli, their round, crimped packets stuffed with a gummy paste of chicken and porcini mushrooms?" Ultimately, she concludes that "At his best, though, he's still got some distinctive Houston magic. That's why his place is worth a look, even for diners outside his target neighborhoods." [29-95]
Press critic Katharine Shilcutt concludes that chef Scott Tycer is having fun at Kraftsman Cafe, the casual restaurant and bakery that replaced his shuttered, high-concept Textile in the Heights. "I think Kraftsmen Cafe is Tycer's version of a palate-cleanser after years of torturously high-concept menus that can often test the limits of a food lover's knowledge, understanding and patience. There are only a few breakfast items on the menu here, a few lunch items. The food itself is very straightforward while still being cheeky and just ambitious enough. And, most important, it's good." [Houston Press]
THE BLOGS: It's a busy week for Urban Swank; they found high quality and reasonably priced Cajun-style seafood at Floyd's in Sugar Land and recount the courses from a media dinner last month at Peruvian restaurant Alma. Hank on Food enjoyed his taste of the pumpkin menu items served at Italian restaurant Fratelli's through the end of November.