As we get busier, writing about our dining experiences in New York seems to fall by the wayside. Not because there isn't anything to write about but because there isn't time to do it justice. So, here are a few quick bites. memorable moments from the first half of this journey.
The Corner Bistro was the perfect spot for a quick lunch last week. I have been meaning to bring Alex here for years as it is a place that is entwined with my past. I began visiting the corner bistro in high school and have returned periodically over the years. The place never seems to change and the burgers are always greasy and delicious.
After the Herve This lecture we stopped by Five Points on the way back to the car. It was early and we were starving so were happy to discover that between 5-6pm they have $2 oysters and $5 martinis. We stayed for dinner and I have to say that our experience that evening would lead one to believe that appetizers and pastas are definitely the things to order. Alex has been on a quest for the perfect short ribs and we'll just say that he's still searching and leave it at that. The special that night was a Fritto Misto with shrimp, calamari, sea bass and skate. It was a beautiful dish, we could have just eaten oysters and the Misto and been perfectly happy. Knowing when to stop is a gift we don't always posses.
Steak Tartare at the bar at Artisanal while waiting for the packages to wrapped next door was a winner. They have a really nice rendition of that classic bistro dish.
Another bar, this time at Balthazar , was the scene of a great plateau de mer. We got the Balthazar to share between us and although the crab claws were Jonah and tasteless and there were more periwinkles than six of us could have eaten, we had a ball because everything else was utterly pristine. The oysters were fresh and briny, the shrimp fat and succulent, marinated Taylor bay scallops, seviches, huge mussels, lobster and a variety of condiments. We shared the remainder with the two charming ladies beside us and finished up with onion soup (me) and a so-so financier (him).
Couldn't resist visiting David Burke at Bloomingdales after all the talk about the sliders. Not a great experience, the space is cramped, the butter was dirty (as in dropped on the floor and put back on the plate dirty) and the food was simply not good. The sliders were edible and nicely pink inside, they were just too tall and with too many things going on for such a small package. The fries were incredibly salty, the meatloaf was tender and tasteless and the lobster mashed potatoes were cold, grainy and vegetarian. The short ribs were just a mess, tough as shoe leather and accompanied by a jumble of overcooked and under seasoned pasta. It was disappointing.
Another disappointing experience would be lunch at the Bar Room at the Modern. The food itself wasn't bad but the service was horrendous. It's as though the Bar and the Dining Room are different worlds within the same restaurant. Almost two hours for three courses and when we were finally able to make our escape, a back waiter who we hadn't seen all afternoon suddenly materialized, brushing by us, glaring at our coats and stepping over our chairs in his haste to clear away the dishes as we began to vacate the table. It was kind of amazing, after slowly dehydrating through the course of the meal because we could never find anyone to pour us some water, he couldn't wait ten seconds for us to actually step away from the table before clearing away all evidence of us. But the museum was fabulous, we went in for the Munch exhibit and stayed to absorb everything else. There is a lot of inspiration to be found within those walls.
So let's wrap this up on a positive note. Thankfully our old standby the 5 Burro Cafe in Forest Hills still makes good nachos, quesadillas, tacos al pastor and one of my favorite Cadillac margaritas. It's not fancy but the food is tasty and the same staff has worked there for years, which is a wonderful thing in this ever-changing business of ours.