Monday, July 28, 2014

Dinner at Bâtard

Bâtard has been open for a little while now and has been getting really good reviews. It's about time I visit. It's tasting menu style where you can choose 2, 3 or 4 courses, and it's actually reasonably prices, as compared to others I've seen. Everything looks very interesting so I'm exited to finally try the food.


It must be heirloom tomato season, seems like they are on every menu in the city. Nice and fresh, bursts of flavor. I would venture a guess that this dish is only around for a short period of time so if you're a fan of heirloom tomatoes go sooner than later.

Always up for trying new octopus dishes. Octopus Pastrami was unexpectedly delightful. Braised ham added interesting balance to the dish and I just loved pommery mustard and it's texture. Order this. 

Rabbit Bouillabaisee was just okay. The meas was kind of bland for my taste. Reached over for the Veal Tenderloin to steal some bites instead. The saffron ravioli was pretty great though. So really, the dish would have been perfect without the meat, it really didn't add anything interesting.

I believe the Veal Tenderloin was the winning dish of the night. Meat so tender and juicy, and the thin crust was just the right consistency to keep in all the juices. The fixings were wonderful as well, loved everything about this. The sweetbreads were hard to find but hey no loss here, no one likes too much sweetbreads anyway, they can certainly be overwhelming.

Lime tart. They didn't have key lime pie. That would have been a perfect dessert. This was okay. Good tart but not my favorite. Order if you like lemon based desserts, you'll enjoy it.

239 West Broadway 
(212) 219-2777

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dinner at Narcissa

A little late to the party but better late then never. Michelin-starred chef John Fraser’s Narcissa has been around for a while now and definitely received raving reviews for being farm-to-table restaurant with beloved dishes. Finally, after all this time, Sunday night is my date night with Narcissa. Despite it being 10pm on a Sunday, the Standard East Hotel is hoppin'. Lot's of trendy-wannabees, young and old couples on dates, and even an occasional hisppter, all are there. Make your way to the restaurant entrance quick and you're finally safe from crowd. At last it's dinner time. 

Start with Mission Figs. For some reason I thought they would look like stuffed dates, they don't. Dish is generous with the mangalitsa ham and homemade rocotta and a few figs. The proportions of the ingredients are actually perfect because figs are pretty sweet and the rocotta and the ham cancel that out. This is a good one.

Probably the most ordinary dish was shrimp with quinoa. Strawberries were a nice touch but everything seemed to be separate from each other. Things just didn't mix well. Shrimp were fine on their own, although a bit bland. Quinoa was alright as well and the strawberries didn't seem to fit in at all. Meh.

So if you think that carrot fries will be healthier than regular french fries you are very wrong my friend. Carrot slices are fried in delicious dough and served with jalapeno-tofu dip. Amazing but not very healthy at all. All this works and tastes great although it's pretty sinful.

Kale was nice, although I bit oily. Not much to say here, just a purist kale side dish, always good to try.

I like Beef Wellington and I like carrots. Carrots Wellington?! Obviously yes. This was my favorite. So delicious and full of flavor. Carrots were sweet and perfectly cooked, the thin dough was light and crispy, so good. The addition of bluefoot mushrooms and sunchokes made this one winning plate of outstanding preparation!

Since carrot seems to be the natural theme of dinner then Partnip-Carrot Cake is the obvious choice for dessert. It's almost a de-constructed version of the traditional one. Cake itself was really good and carroty, if I may. Only thing missing was more cream cheese frosting, should be more of it I say. Good to try but probably next time the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with curry-roasted bananas and espresso ice cream should be the choice.

21 Cooper Square 
New York, NY
(212) 228-3344 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The NoMad Bar

Just around the corner from the NoMad hotel is a new NoMad Bar, an extension of the NoMad empire if you will. This place has everything to make it a win, just like anything that has to do with The NoMad. There is a solid bar with amazing bar tenders who take extreme care making drinks, giving each cocktail special attention, making it perfect. It feels good to know your drink is not a slap-dash of a mix. Upstairs is where the dining room is, though there are a few places on the main floor if you want to be in the happening bar area. Dining upstairs looks over the bar so you can easily people watch and spy without them noticing. Plus it's a great place to watch the bar tenders at work, until you get your food. 

You don't see Carrot Tartar very much, you will in the future though, and The NoMad Bar has it. It's very surprisingly and amazingly delicious. Great combination of horseradish, mustard and whatever-else is mixed in, with a spicy hint. Definitely a must-order. The side of thin bread chips were light and crispy. Do this.

Another small dish is Scotch Olives. The olive is stuffed with sheep's milk cheese, wrapped inside lamb sausage and fried, the Scotch egg style. Even though I'm a fan of olives, this dish was just okay. Not much interesting going on here. Order something else instead, there are many other great choices.

A must have, and apparently a-claim-to-fame of the NoMad Bar, is the Chicken Pot Pie. The chef wanted to create something that would match the famous Chicken for Two at The NoMad dining room. This dish is delicious, and not as filling as it might seem. The Pie is brought to the table with a side of foie gras on a skewer and a spoon full of black truffle mousse-type mixture. Spoon breaks the pie crust on top and in goes the foie gras pieces, followed by a spoon full of truffle mousse. All this is stirred around flavoring the pie filling. That's good stuff right there. Very nice dish.

Now, for the ultimate dish, The Dry-Aged Burger. I would say this is the best burger ever! Better than anything similar out there. First off, the meat is incredibly juice and full of flavor. Topped with cheddar cheese and red onions. There is some sort of sauce on top that flavors the bun as well as the meat. This is an absolute must. Get this! You're welcome.

Can't leave out the drinks, this is a bar after all. The Huntsman is fresh and crisp and yet you can feel that's it's pretty strong on the vodka. Good but not favorite. A great cocktail that's easy to drink and full of interesting flavors is randomly named the Scotch Dumpling. Has brandy, scotch, and egg white, among other ingredients. Egg white gives the drink that froth on top. You'll order more than one during the evening.

Another drink is also strangely named the Shuttlecock. It's a friuity, icy cocktail that' a joy to drink. Not too sweet, just fresh and crisp. You have to love the blackberries and mint in your cocktail this summer.

How can a dinner be complete without dessert. It's the Chocolate Bar this evening. Dark chocolate squares filled with caramel. Yumm! Don't eat all of it after dinner, take some home with you and enjoy it for a few days.

This NoMad Bar is a new favorite, big part because of the burger and intricate, crafty cocktails. Daniel Humm and James Kent have created another winner. You'll want to go back more than once for sure. 

The NoMad Bar
10 West 28th Street