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Found 6 results

  1. We got in very early tonight (right at opening)...far from a gastropub, in the true sense of the word, but it was pretty impressive... Start with these "pigs in a blanket"... Move on to the "pub cheese," which tasted sorta like a really excellent version of cracker barrel... Not to be missed tonight, the Caesar Nigiri... Topped with some of the freshest mackerel I've tasted in a long time. I didn't love the merguez stuffed kumquats (at least not as much as one of my dining companions)... But I did love the Chicken Liver Toast (with extremely crispy chicken skin)... The much lauded Rye Pasta... Was really great. As was this foie dish (don't let your eyes deceive you)... Desserts - foregone...we'd had too much to drink. So we walked on. For those who think they'll "be hungry" after dinner - not to worry. I stopped at Il Laboratorio on the way home. It was the perfect dessert.
  2. Dropped a couple of hundred dollars eating everything on the menu (the tasting menu and the "from the vault" menu) at WD-50 the other night. Came away underwhelmed. I admit it might be me -- maybe my palate is just too juvenile to appreciate the nuances of this particular joint. It might be the whole "seasonal and local thing," because winter foods tend to be bland, what with all that squash and turnips turning up on the plates. And it might be Wylie, who seems to have stepped away from the mad scientist stuff I used to read about back in the day. I remember the first time I heard the acoustic version of "Layla" from MTV unplugged and thinking "when did Clapton start doing a lounge act?" Maybe Wylie should only play when he's plugged in. At any rate, even with the menu posted on line, it's hard to recall some of the dishes. A sweet shrimp with "pine needles" (one of the few science experiments I recall -- pine essence extruded and congealed to resemble needles) and chestnut came together flawlessly and intriguingly (it takes a second to to figure out if you really like pine flavor in your food), and popcorn soup was quite rich, understated and yet forceful. And the red meat dishes -- squab, flatiron steak and smoked duck -- were quite tasty. But any decent pho place would have served up a better broth than that accomanying the "pho gras;" bone marrow in a fake mashed potato "bone" needed more than a little pomegranate to wake it up and I barely remember the monkfish or the sea bass at all. Admittedly, I was was with a charming dining companion who may have proved a distraction, but I do remember restaurant meals where I don't remember the cab ride home (and the set list from Dead shows where I barely remembered the planet I was on), so the night is oddly blank. We found ourselves very hungry long before our nine o'clock reservations but were advised that there were seats in the bar, where a very friendly and knowledgeable bartender -- with help from an assortment of besuited management-looking types -- took excellent care of us at a comfortably sized four-top. Those who regard my reviewing with an appropriately jaundiced eye and wish to see for themselves without committing to the $155 tasting menu should know that the bar offers the option of ordering any two courses for $25, and additional courses for $15. When the bartender said he'd have to check and see if we could order both menus rather than choosing one or the other for the entire table (apparently SOP at WD-50) we threatened to get the two-course deal and then order every other plate on the menu at $15 per. And when he laughed rather than rolling his eyes and mouthing "what an asshole" to the manager, we knew he was a good guy. We put ourselves in his hands for the wine and didn't pay too much attention except to note an excellent Sylvaner early on and two Pinot Noirs, neither of them from either France or the U.S. -- and the Chliean version (the other was German) being excellent -- "Litoral Vineyards Casa Marin '09." Wylie Dufresne is, of course, under no obligation to be the madman he seems to have been back in the day -- or maybe quinoa fries just aren't as much fun as they would have been in 2002 -- but I would have enjoyed a little more zing in my cuisine rather than the understated elegance that was delivered.
  3. Having urged Bill to try Marigold Kitchen, I guess I should chime in to add that from my one experience, Marigold Kitchen is as fine a dining experience as I've had in months. I had that same lamb dish Bill ordered and thought it was superb. The halibut was 50% cheaper and 100% better than the halibut I had the night before at the ridiculously expensive Striped Bass. The clam-chowder risotto was fabulous, and the amazing grilled-cheese is legitimate charity at $8. Marigold Kitchen is BYOB, so there is zero corkage for bringing your own wine - it would be difficult, if not impossible, to spend $50 a person here. And the service was even better than the food - this place goes atop my list of 2005 restaurants. Cheers, Rocks.
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