LaBan Does Not Love El Rey

Craig LaBan reviews Stephen Starr’s El Rey and LaBan is not very happy with the design, operations or noise levels. Luckily for the restaurant, chef Dionicio Jimenez‘ plates rescue Starr’s latest creation from a one-bell review.

Jimenez’s successes far outweighed those goofs, from the fantastic quesadilla filled with squash blossoms, corn, and fresh epazote, to refreshing Campechana ceviche brimming with tender shrimp, to a terra-cotta crock of tender baby squid lavished in roasty red guajillo-tomato sauce. The chile en nogada remains one of the chef’s homey signatures, a spicy poblano stuffed with ground beef, nuts and dried fruits, then glazed in creamy white walnut sauce striped like a Mexican flag with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and chopped herbs.

Two Bells – Very Good

El Rey [Philadelphia Inquirer]
El Rey [Official Site]