Tag Archives: Winter Restaurant Week

Winter Restaurant Week 2014

Winter Restaurant Week has now passed, but here is a  sampling of restaurants I tried this time around. Let’s begin with lunches…

City Lobster

City Lobster

Appetizer: Lettuce wedge salad, complete with cucumbers, tomatoes, crispy onions, bacon, and bleu cheese. Even though I’m not a huge fan of ice berg lettuce, I really liked the toppings.
Main:
Fish and Chips were great. The cod was extremely flaky and I would have liked slightly more crispy but the French fries were spot on.
Dessert:
Profiteroles (large cream puffs) with coffee ice cream and chocolate on top. This was delectable. The coffee ice cream inside complements the full sweet chocolate flavor.
Service: Good.
Location:
City Lobster
121 W 49 St
New York, NY

Craftbar

Craftbar

Appetizer: The warm pecorino fondue w/ acacia honey, hazelnuts & pepperoncini, as well as 4 long pieces of crostini, was out of this world amazing— I love the creamy taste of the thick pecorino cheese. The honey and pine nuts worked well with the cheese, while the crunchy crostinis were the perfect accompaniment.
Main:
Lumache Pasta Bolognese. The pasta was cooked al dente and the ragu with the sauce worked together beautifully. I would have liked a little more cheese on it, but overall was a solid choice.
Dessert:
Chocolate peanut butter pie with honey roasted peanuts was yummy. It was light, and had chocolate mousse as well as slight peanut butter flavor. The honey roasted peanuts added a layer of deliciousness.
Service: Very competent and friendly wait staff.
Location:
Craftbar
900 Broadway
New York, NY

Now, onto the dinners!

Rayuela

Rayuela

Starter: Cheesy bread was amazing. We were only given one piece, but I definitely could have had many more.
Appetizer: Garlic shrimp with foccacia bread. The garlic shrimp was extremely flavorful but had some specks of hot pepper so was a bit spicy. The foccacia bread was disappointing, as it seemed to be just regular bread.
Main: Salmon with butternut squash and brussel sprouts was good. The sauce was enjoyable and I liked the crispness of the salmon.
Dessert: Bread pudding with caramel sauce and bananas were okay. It wasn’t bread pudding in the traditional sense, but the pieces were still quite moist and I liked the sauce.
Service: Pretty good
Location:
Rayuela
165 Alllen St
New York, NY

L'Ecole

L’Ecole

Appetizer: Spinach fettuccine with braised duck leg ragu made with tomato jam and carrots. This was well done- Wonderful pasta with plenty of meat.
Main: Braised pork osso buco with risotto Milanese and gremolata was mouthwateringly good. The risotto had a robust flavor and the pork osso buco was perfectly tender and came off the bone easily.
Dessert: Chocolate with apple crisp was light and delightful.
Service: Attentive and thoughtful
Location:
L’Ecole
462 Broadway
New York, NY

Brasserie 8 1/2

Brasserie 8 1/2

Amuse-bouche: Chestnut soup had a nice flavor to it.
Appetizer: Consommé de Boeuf – Short Rib Consommé, Ravioli, Parsnips, Black Truffles
Side: French fries were so good, with just the right amount of crunch.
Main: Filet Mignon – Petit Filet, Potato Croquettes, Espelette Pepper Bearnaise
At first, my filet mignon did not come with the potato croquettes but they made up for it by giving me an extra one. The petit filet itself was delicious enough on its own… Perfectly tender, flavorful, but would have liked more of the sauce. The potato croquettes were decent, but I preferred the French fries.
Dessert: I was able to try both.

The tarte au citron (Meyer Lemon Tart) was pretty good. There was a strong lemon flavor and it was both tangy and sweet. I enjoyed the crust, however did not discern the taste of thyme scented honey and the crème fraiche was tasteless.

Macaron – Vanilla Macaron, Valhrona Chocolate Ganache, Hazelnut Ice Cream
I enjoyed the macaron more. The French Macaron was large, dusted with powdered sugar and had the perfect consistency and chewy texture. The Valhrona chocolate ganache was rich, creamy, delicious. The hazelnut ice cream was very tasty as well.

Service: Not the best and had a long wait time in receiving our meals. We received a plate of mini treats to make up for it: Sea salt caramel macarons, raspberry cookies, biscotti and mini chocolate chip cookies. All of the sweet treats were wonderful, especially the macaron and chocolate chip cookie.
Location:
Brasserie 8 1/2
9 West 57 St
New York, NY

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Food

Restaurant Week Dinner at PO

DSCN3047

Po is a delightful little Italian restaurant tucked away on Cornelia Street in the West Village.  The vision for Po is simple: “A restaurant that serves fresh, simply prepared seasonal fare in a cozy and inviting neighborhood setting.” And this they have done.

After we were seated, we were served a nice chunk of bread with a side of olive oil, as well as complimentary white bean bruschetta– Sliced bread with white beans and more olive oil. Even though I’m not a huge fan of beans, this tasted quite good: Full of flavor, though very oily. I also loved the crispiness of the bread.

DSCN3038

We ordered off the Restaurant Week Menu, which pretty much had the best dishes from the menu and even some that weren’t on the regular menu. I started off with the Sea Bass Ravioli, made with tomato sauce and scallion butter. I expected it to be a little more substantial, as the plate only came with 3 medium-sized ravioli pieces. It was also a little lacking in presentation. I thought it was decent. The sauce was light, and could definitely taste the sea bass which was the best part by far.

DSCN3039
My entree was veal porcini ragu with fusili pasta, which was delicious. The veal was extremely tender, full of flavor and combined well with the porcini mushrooms. The fusili was cooked to perfection and there was just enough sauce to taste, but not overpower the distinct flavors of veal and porcini. Add to the dish some Parmesan and  a sprinkling of pepper to enhance the flavors, and voilà!

DSCN3041

Next was dessert, which was dark chocolate terrine and drizzled with espresso caramel sauce. The terrine was delectable, with a strong flavor of amaretto and just melted in my mouth. I also loved the sweet smooth flavor of the caramel sauce to go with it. Overall, it was wonderfully rich and creamy. Almost too rich, with almost being the operative word. I still ate most of the chocolate terrine…

DSCN3045

My friend was able to get the other dessert and luckily, shared some with me: Apple torta with vanilla gelato. Now, this dessert was amazing! I have always been a lover of chocolate, but this apple torta was even better than the dark chocolate terrine. The apple torta came to us warm, seemingly straight from the oven. The torta was  chewy, flaky, buttery and crisp all at once. The crust was caramelized and crisp, and had the distinct flavor of caramel. The vanilla gelato was the perfect companion: Creamy, smooth, and flavorful.

DSCN3046

Despite my initial reservations, Restaurant Week Dinner at Po turned out to be a delightful experience with great food and pleasant service.

Address: 31 Cornelia Street.

***********************************************************************************************************

Take advantage of NYC Restaurant Week: Winter 2013, which is from January 14 to February 8, 2013. This is when a ton of well known and usually quite expensive restaurants offer a special 3-course meal, which is $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Here’s a sampling of participating restaurants: 21 Club, Capital Grille, Le Cirque, Locanda Verde, Morimoto, Nobu, The Palm Court, Russian Tea Room, and Spice Market… And I’ve been to 5 of these (for past Restaurant Weeks.)

Stay tuned for upcoming Winter Restaurant Week reviews!

Leave a comment

Filed under Food