Apolline is the restaurant that occupies the most recent Dominique's on Magazine space, taking it over after Dominique Macquet left abruptly last fall. As Tom Fitzmorris writes in this week's CityBusiness (subscription required), "Even though the restaurant hasn’t tripped up on anything significant in its food or service, it has not recovered a critical mass of customers" since Macquet left. Put otherwise, "If you ever wondered what a difference it makes when a strong public relations effort spreads the name of an outgoing chef whose name is effusively circulated in dining circles, observe Apolline."
Since Macquet left, chef Matthew Farmer took over the reins of the kitchen, "leaving the style of the menu more or less unchanged." Now, this "romantic" space is "a place for those who like good, secret restaurants that nobody's talking about much yet." On top of all that, the side dishes offered at Apolline are "unusually good." The Fitz might actually be onto something here.
Meanwhile, Ian McNulty had a busy week, filing a review of Freret Street sushi restaurant Origami. (This on top of his fantastic cover story on Leah Chase.) Located in the space that used to be the godawful college bar Friar Tuck's, "Some customers may have hazy memories of the assorted high jinks and regrettable hookups that once occurred there before the space featured delicate sushi rolls." Origami is owned by Mitsuko Tanner, who, McNulty notes, was once a co-owner at Kyoto and was most recently at Little Tokyo on Carrollton Ave. in Mid City.
And how's the food? Well: Origami's menu ranges from "beautifully composed plates of sashimi, a solid repertoire of cooked dishes and a menu of rolls that range from reliable standards to house specials that go from very good to mystifyingly bad." As such, McNulty suggests avoiding anything that "sounds outrageous."