@ The Sugar Bar – 254 W. 72nd Street
Ashford and Simpsonas most recent restaurant outing is one of only two “African” listings in Zagat. But while the ceiling is thatched and the interior is sumptuously furnished with African handicrafts, the theme doesnat extend to the food other than superficially. Nevertheless, entrA(c)es of grilled shrimp sided with fruity tomato chutney, and cinnamon-glazed pork loin were both good, as were starters of smoked, black-pepper-crusted salmon and a rich soup of squash purA(c)ed with figs. However, spicing was too timid across the board, and I was annoyed by the unannounced 18% service charge added to the check.