Oh No! Not Another NYC Food Blog!

Yes, yes it is. Mwahaha.

Tag: Midtown

Benoit

Old school French bistro that’s been around since 1912 in the theater district.

What We Had

We were on our way to a show (Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in Waiting For Godot – which was fantastic), so we both opted for selections off the pre theater prix fixe menu.

I had the cheese soufflé, braised pork cheeks, and apple & pear crepe with vanilla bean ice cream.

My DH had the cheese soufflé, mussels and frites, and the cheese selection for dessert.

20140119-090654.jpg

The cheese soufflé (we both had shaved truffle over top) was divine. Pillowy, moist, cheesy and rich – it was truly a fantastic start to the meal.

20140119-090746.jpg

My pork cheeks were ridiculously good and scratched an itch for broth I didn’t even know I had. The cheeks were tender and the accompanying root vegetables were good, but the real star here was the cooking liquid. Reduced to the point of stickiness, it was the very essence of pork – intensely flavored, deeply fragrant and something I’d like to stick my face into a vat of.

20140119-090839.jpg

My DH’s mussels & frites were great – nice crispy fries, good quality mussels – and a good portion of them.

20140119-090927.jpg

My apple dessert was fantastic. Not too sweet and not whopping huge, it fit the after dinner bill perfectly.

20140119-091014.jpg

My DH’s cheese plate was also great – a nice bleu, a runny Brie, and a mild hard cheese with all the usual accompaniments.

Decor

20140119-091119.jpg

Warm reds and woods fleshed out the ceiling sky murals, giving the space an airy yet intimate feel; and the twinkling candle light reflected by lots of mirrors gave a sense that this place is somewhere special.

Service

Great.

Overall Impressions

We did not have huge expectations. First, this restaurant is French – and for every halfway decent French restaurant, there are about 99999 others serving terrible bland food. We’d mostly experienced the latter.

Second, it’s the prix fixe menu – sometimes those are great, sometimes they’re packed with pre-warmed food and so many cost cutting measures that they’re no better than something from a TGIMcFridayBees. We were hoping for the former , but expecting the latter.

I am thrilled to say we were 100% wrong on both accounts. The food was stellar, the service was great, and the atmosphere was really something special. Not only was this meal great value for money, but it gave us enough time to get to our show, and bolstered our stomachs for the frozen chaos that is anywhere within a 12-block radius of Rockefeller Center in the weeks before Christmas.

Rating

5 out of 5 for a fantastic meal, great service, and getting us to our show on time.

Advertisements

The Modern

Upscale dishes and cocktails Inside MoMA. Plates are served in categories by size – small, medium, large.

What We Had

20130216-090105.jpg

Tarte flambé with creme fraiche, onion & applewood smoked bacon – This was like a very tasty, very smoky pizza. Good flavor.

20130216-090150.jpg

Slow poached farm egg in a jar with Maine lobster, hon shimeji mushroom & sea urchin froth – Good, but not the belle of the ball I wanted it to be. The egg could have gone a hair longer. The lobster was perfect & the mushroom was fabulous. The uni taste was so subtle I was sad to have missed it. I liked; DH not so much.

20130216-090236.jpg

Foie gras terrine with muscat gelee & toasted brioche – Crazy good and very decadent. The gelee was a perfect bright and snappy counterpoint to the silky and sexy foie. The toast was a little brittle. This was the hit of the day and a dish we are both still thinking about.

20130216-090328.jpg

Black angus beef tenderloin with Munster gratin, onion confit & cumin jus – nice sauce; something different. Really great beef. A very solid dish.

20130216-090411.jpg

Saffron tagliatelle with cider braised rabbit, chanterelle mushrooms and kale – fantastic. Perfect pasta, tender rabbit, jus I wanted more of. Wanted more rabbit – only 3 tiny pieces – but overall a success.

Decor

20130216-090452.jpg

About what you’d expect – very modern and clean-lined, but very busy and a little in the noisy side.

Service

Slow service. The restaurant was packed, but the service was still slow.

Overall Impressions

A good find in a museum. Not somewhere I would want to spring for every museum visit, but good. The atmosphere was a little too institutional cafeteria feeling for the food and price for me, despite the nice decor. This would be a great happy hour spot, or nibbles on a date after seeing an exhibit, but not a full dinner – too noisy for that.

Rating

4 out of 5 for really great food, but slow service. A little pricey for what it was. Trying but just short of mark for the price point.

Cho Dang Gol Korean Restaurant

Busy Korean BBQ spot off of 34th.

What We Had

20130120-083802.jpg

Galbi – Marinated short rib Korean-style BBQ. Show stopping. Korean BBQ is pretty much always good, but this was better than that. Instead of being almost too sweet like at most places, the sweet was balanced and tempered here.

20130120-083857.jpg

Stone Bowl Bibimbap with Pork. This dish was fantastic. Crispy rice, really flavorful ingredients, and a great balance.

20130120-083947.jpg

CDG Dumplings – Hand made meat & tofu dumplings, steamed. Good flavor large dumplings.

20130120-084030.jpg

Great little sides – some sort of cooked zucchini, Kimchee, a Kimchee-like non-vinegary squid & cucumber something, some sort of greens, little dried shrimp, tempura mushrooms, and some sort of pancake.

Decor

20130120-084107.jpg

Korean flavored, but lots of neutrals and woods.

Service

Not terrible for a really busy day.

Overall Impressions

A great find. The day we visited was crazy busy, with a large majority of the patrons being Asian. We took that as a good sign, and we weren’t wrong.

This place has lots of menus in different textures and materials. For the uninitiated, the takeout menu features a QR code that can be scanned with a smart phone to view a visual version of the dishes.

Rating

4 out of 5 for a fabulous meal that was fun to eat.

Energy Kitchen

Healthy fast food. We visited the location near Central Park.

Nothing on the menu is over 500 calories. Everything is steamed, baked or broiled; nothing is fried. They serve smoothies, platters, wraps, burgers, salads, breakfasts, and only low calorie fountain beverages.

What We Had

20121118-081028.jpg

We both had the bison steak & cheese wrap with mushrooms, low fat cheese and onions and a side of baked fries. The sandwiches were pretty good – just enough cheese to know it’s there; the meat & cheese together was juicy enough to be satisfying and feel decadent enough for fast food. Not fine dining, but good enough for a quick meal.

The fries were fabulous and virtually guilt-free.

Decor

20121118-081104.jpg

Bright and welcoming mostly white interior with pops of blues and greens.

Service

Typical fast food counter service.

Overall Impressions

This is a place I could see us coming to again. It’s fast food I can get behind. The menu is varied with lots of great looking sides I’d like to try, including a black bean and mango salad, mashed sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for decent food and being a healthy option for lunch on the go that isn’t necessarily a salad.

Menchanko Tei

Inexpensive ramen joint in midtown.

What We Had

20120922-080701.jpg

My DH had the Shoyu Ramen – Nice taste. Not as rich as Ippudo, but not half bad. The noodles had good taste and the broth had something good going on.

20120922-080751.jpg

I had the Kurabatu Hakata Ramen – Don’t listen to the Internet; this dish is bland city. Shallow broth, tasteless noodles. Nice pork, though. I barely got a bite in and just couldn’t do it any more. No amount of table sauce or sriracha was saving this dish.

20120922-080839.jpg

We split an order of the Gyoza Pork Dumplings – Really porky, great balance and a nice hard sear.

Décor

20120922-080920.jpg

Nice; blonde woods, good lighting.

Service

Ok

Overall Impressions

Great prices – alcohol is under $6 a glass, apps are around $3.50 and ramen is $10 on average.

Rating

2.75 for great price but hit or miss dishes.