8.13.2007

To Dine in New York

"Have any pictures of your trip?"

"Yes," I answered immediately; then I paused and added, "but they're all of food."

Marlon wasn't much interested after I told him that. I wonder what pictures he would have wanted to see – the Statue of Liberty maybe? But, we've all seen a hundred shots of lady liberty. How many shots have you seen of a sublime beet and goat cheese salad from Eleven Madison Park?

Not many I suspect! But I am here to cure you of that particular malady. New York will now be framed for me in terms of food, not ethnic food, not street food, but "foodie food". Surveying the pictures for this blog, I see that I have a lot of pictures of dishes, most of which weren't even mine. How was I going to describe the taste, the impressions of the moment, knowing that in most cases, I have forgotten? There was no one dish that I have to go back to New York to have. No, my joy was in the overall impression, the ambiance, the service, the other diners, the lighting. No, I won't be able to tell you what the single best dish was. I can only tell you about the places we visited and my broad stroke experience.

The Bar Room at the Modern

The first dish was a real mistake. Everything that followed was bliss; so much so, that I almost forgot to take a picture:


And this happened more than once during our trip – the food would arrive, we'd ooh and aah and promptly dig in, completely forgetting to take a shot of presentation. To prove the point, when something was especially good and we forgot to memorialize it as presented for posterity, we at least memorialized our clean plates!


Girls Night at the Gotham Bar & Grill


Start to finish, this experience was a winner! The ambiance as well as the food was top notch.

Hamachi was on every menu. As was beet salad. Wonder what that's about.

Tabla

We did the restaurant week at this beautiful space. I can honestly say that every dish had a different take - an interesting flavor, but I would not be a must go place if I were giving a recommendation.

Veritas


I heard wonderful things about this place - that is was for real foodies. Ah, but I think the moment has passed. The bread was awful. I've heard that if the bread is bad at a restaurant, you should get up and walk out. Well, it wasn't awful, but it wasn't great.

Bouley

Service, food, ambiance at this lovely spot was flawless. Every dish was amazing. It was wonderful seeing a trio of young men dining next to us. We found out they were 21. I thanked and encouraged them to continue dining fine (and bring their dates with them too).

Jane


The emperor has no clothes. Heard the vanilla bean french toast brioche was too die for. It was good, but everything else was a waste from the soggy eggs to the cheese grits that weren't v cheesy. Who messes up grits?

Eleven Madison Park


Ah, fine dining at its height. Oh, the service, oh, the presentation, yum. I did have the Muscovy duck for two that was good, but I can't say it knocked my socks off. However, I would put the experience down as one of the truly excellent dining experiences of my life. Be sure to hit EMP up if you're in NYC.

So, my recommendation - dine in New York when you can. I didn't do much in the way of street vendors, bagels or other traditional New York fare. Next time.

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