The dishes of Michael Reed, a chef who practically grew up in the kitchens of Sona and Osteria Mozza, are congruent with the farmers-market-tinged cooking you find at places like Lazy Ox and the Yard, things like pork-stuffed squid with shell beans in a garlicky romesco sauce; crisp pork belly with sunchokes and a smoky charred-eggplant puree that makes the concoction taste like bacon; and lamb ribs with pickled green beans.
Are there a few duds? Of course. Reed is too fond of truffle oil -- in the rock-shrimp risotto, you can taste scarcely anything else -- and the gnocchi were a bit stodgy. But the braised pork chop with pancetta, kale and pork jus is beautifully balanced for a dish that is essentially pork-on-pork-on-pork, and the seared sea bass with butternut squash and a fried crisp of its skin is a preparation that would have been a standout even at Sona. It's odd to think of a 20-year-old restaurant as a promising newcomer, but Xiomara is again a restaurant to watch.