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Posts from the ‘Tribeca’ Category

Shovel Time: Bâtard

threeshovelBâtard doesn’t seem radical on the surface. It’s a nice restaurant in Tribeca. But thinking back to my experience in the same space over four years ago, it feels like twice as long in restaurant years. Gone are the tablecloths, much of the hush (though this was two days after the great muffling) and pretense, no biggie if you want white burgundy but aren’t willing to spend three figures. Unlike at Corton, no one would’ve given a shit if I took out my purse-sized SLR instead of leaving it at home, a more frequent occurrence lately because who cares about blogs anymore? Bâtard has an active Instagram account.

batard bread

No amuses. There is still bread, though.

batard chilled pea soup, fluke, salsify crumble, sweet shallots, mint

Anyone who ate at Bâtard in the early days–you know, a month ago–recommends the pea soup with sweetbreads. It has since given way to a more summery version, chilled and minted, and containing ribbons of raw fluke. The crisped salsify that looks like bacon is still present, as is the tableside pour.

batard octopus pastrami, braised ham hock, pommery mustard, new potatoes

Octopus “pastrami” might be the breakout hit. In fact, the spice-crusted cephalopod terrine, garnished incongruously but deliciously with grainy mustard, capers, ham, and potato, appeared on Good Day New York the following morning. Oddly, it was the almost sweet rye croutons that really brought this dish together.

I slunk into mild martyrdom because I don’t have fine dining friends (I have plenty of brunch friends, bbq friends, beer and burger friends, and Neverending Pasta Bowl friends, thanks) and was starting to spazz over not getting the birthday dinner I truly wanted. A well-meaning question from the loosening vegetarian almost made me say and do regrettable things. “Is there chicken on the menu?” With the exception of the schnitzel special, there’s not only no chicken on the menu, but no poultry whatsoever.

batard veal tenderlon tramezzini, sugar snap peas, sweetbreads, sauce diable

I may have opted for the veal out of misplaced defiance. It’s a serious entree, described playfully as “tramezzini,” a nod to the breading wrapped around the rare tenderloin that’s more like a wellington than an Italian sandwich. The crunchy snap peas added just enough freshness to the rich jus, chanterelles and sweetbread cube.

batard black forest, chocolate sablé, kirsch chantilly, bing cherries

The black forest dessert, incorporating straightforward chocolate, cherries, and cream, was the most overtly Germanic. Sweet and pleasing, it just made sense.

Keeping with the more accessible theme, the relatively low point of entry ($55 for two courses) is nice, but you’d have to crazy to not find the extra $20 for two more dishes.

Bâtard * 239 W. Broadway, New York, NY

The Butterfly

The last time I saw a grasshopper on a paper placemat
cocktail menu in an NYC restaurant was at Stingy Lulu's. That was the '90s and it
was meant to be kitsch. The last time I tried ordering a grasshopper was at
Jade Island and it was a no go. The Staten Island strip mall tiki bar traffics
in a very narrow range of kitsch that doesn't include creme de menthe.

Of course The Butterfly's version is a $16  Eben Freeman creation so it's made with fun
things like pandan extract and Branca Menta. Or so I've read. I didn't even end
up trying it, despite that being  my
original aim. It's the lounge/supperclub dichotomy. And considering the bar was
at capacity but there were plenty of open tables on the early side of a
weeknight, the people have decided it's a bar, not a supperclub.

A highbrow grasshopper only makes sense if you're
stopping by for a drink (or treating it as a dessert). I'm still not fully on
board with the new era of $15+ drinks, so if I order one or two I want the
focus to be on the drink not convoluted with fried or heavy food.

The butterfly brandy old fashioned

I did try a brandy old fashioned sweetened with oleo-saccharum,
though, while deciding what to eat. And then moved on to beer, Birra Morini
Lager from Wisconsin, which seemed wrongheaded even if it was more sensible.

The butterfly shrimp toast

The shrimp toast wasn't radically reinvented. In
fact, it would be right at home at Jade Island if the price were chopped in
half ($12 vs. $6.15).

The butterfly reuben croquettes

The reuben croquettes, gooey with swiss, corned beef
and just a little sauerkraut, were more successful, partially because they felt
more substantial. The thousand island for dipping was unusually pink, even more
so than from a plastic bottle of Wish-Bone.

The butterfly patty melt

The patty melt was the underdog hit. I realize the
only thing separating a melt from a burger is really the bread, but I want a
bun, plus toasted rye is for reubens. But because the meat–rare, dry-aged with
that deep steak-y flavor–was so good, none of the idiosyncrasies mattered. Strangely,
I didn't even notice the cheese (strange because I'm a sucker for melted
cheese). The caramelized onions stood out more and combined with the
distinguished beef, started veering toward Minetta Black Label Burger territory
(turns out it's a White Label blend from Pat LaFrieda so that makes sense).

The butterfly moby dick

After trying the patty melt, "Moby Dick,"
the filet o' fish, couldn't even compete.

This is where the grasshopper would logically fit if
you insisted on both drinking and eating.

The Butterfly * 225 W. Broadway, New York, NY

The Blues at B Flat

B flat cocktail I’m fairly certain that blue cocktails are gauche. (I know because I spent a few years in the ‘90s drinking MD 20/20 Hawaiian Blue by choice. The more coconut-flavored Windex-y malt liquor that washed through your system, the more you could envision yourself lazily swimming to the shoreline pictured on the bottle’s label. “I’m half-way there…yep, reaching the sand…Zzzz.”) Unrespectable or not, this pale lagoon of a drink that blends prosecco, yuzu juice and Calpico with a few dashes of blue curacao that looks like a secret elixir when stored in a small, transparent metal-spouted bottle, keeps it classy. The bartender at Japanese, jazzy B Flat was shaking up a number of these seemingly nameless cocktails, one for a beefy man in khakis. No one can resist the aqua liquid once they’ve laid eyes on it.

Late to the game, I was given a standard champagne flute. It looked more special when served in the taller, narrow, straight-walled glass that the earlier patrons received. The basement lounge is busy with good reason; happy hour, featuring $6 cocktails, two signatures per the standard spirits, lasts until 8pm.

I tried a Sazarac and a Manhattan, both whiskey choices (hey, I was celebrating some good fortune—I don’t know if I’ll be able to take 2011 if it all turns out as well as the first two weeks of January) and couldn’t resist also trying the baby blue drink before rushing off to Sushi Azabu–it was a Japanese subterranean kind of night. The cocktail tastes like fizzy, sweetened grapefruit juice—if asked to describe its color based on taste alone, I would say orange—and was a nice send off after the two prior stiff brown beverages.

B Flat * 277 Church St., New York, NY


? There is that rare state you sometimes achieve while dining where everything gels, the food makes you happy, so too the company. Everything just feels right. You might not even notice the people around you, what they ordered, said or are wearing because you’re in a private bubble tuning out the world around you. Sometimes the feeling is teased out from fine dining, though it could just as easily rise from a plate of tacos. This intangible joy was not achieved at Corton.

This wasn’t surprising considering the disconnect between glowing critical reviews (mostly from the cusp of 2008/2009) and dismayed internet comments. I wanted to side with the professionals. Possibly because this was my Valentine’s Day gift, appropriately celebrated two days past the holiday. High expectations.

And when I learned this was where we were going, I immediately thought better against taking photos, invoking a never verbalized 2010 resolution to just enjoy my food, savor without the need to blog it. But I brought my camera just in case. It’s not easy going cold turkey.

Corton amuses

Amuses. Ricotta was involved. Something made the muffin-puffs on the left green.

Corton butter

Butter. The green speckled slab was flavored with seaweed.

Corton second amuse

Another amuse. The first but not the last of aspic-like textures. I think the crumbles were homemade Grape-Nuts.

For wine, I was interested in trying an Alsatian Riesling (plus, with a $145 tasting menu I was hesitant to dip into the triple-digit-plus white Burgundy even if I wasn’t the one paying) and we chose the 1999 Domaine Clos St. Landelin "Vorbourg" Grand Cru. It turned out to be the last bottle and was corked, at that. Instead, we were given an off-menu 2007 J. Meyer Grittematte.

Corton uni, black konbu gelée, caviar

Corton uni, black konbu gelée, caviar part 2

Uni, Black Konbu Gelée, Caviar

Many of the dishes came with sides, which was sort of unusual. The algae-colored uni creation was placed front and center with the caviar vessel placed to the right.

Corton foie gras, smoked beet, blackberry, plum kernel oil

Corton foie gras, smoked beet, blackberry, plum kernel oil part 2

Foie Gras, Smoked Beet, Blackberry, Plum Kernel Oil

This, and one of the semi-desserts came with their own bread. The compressed beet, blackberry disk looked like a sausage.

Corton spider crab, parmesan spaghetti, cockles, meyer lemon

Corton spider crab, parmesan spaghetti, cockles, meyer lemon part 2

Spider Crab, Parmesan Spaghetti, Cockles, Meyer Lemon

The squiggles were presented with a crab shell covering them like a dome. The carapace was quickly whisked away.

Corton atlantic turbot ‘saveurs du terroir’

Corton atlantic turbot ‘saveurs du terroir’ part 2

Corton atlantic turbot ‘saveurs du terroir’ part 3

Atlantic Turbot ‘Saveurs du Terroir’

The truffle-flecked fish formed into a tube, was a highlight. I also liked the use of a swampy green palette throughout the meal. This course went totally wild and was made up of three components.

Corton squab, torte, pine, madras, date purée.CR2

Corton squab, torte, pine, madras, date purée part 2

Squab, Torte, Pine, Madras, Date Purée

This is when the evening took a wrong turn. We had been seated next to a VIP who seemed to be a youngish chef and his wife/girlfriend celebrating a birthday. They were also doing a tasting and were neck and neck with us on courses, except each round they received was more amped up and laden with extras than ours. Big corner booth, truffles shaved tableside and so on.

That’s the way the world works. I understand. (If I were to show up in someone else’s corporate library, maybe they’d share a Lexis-Nexis password with me or something. Us professional researchers, total soigné treatment.) Grant Achatz explained the tricky balance of serving both mortals and VIPs in The Atlantic last year. “Sorry sir, you are not special enough to enjoy that creation.”

I began to take a photo of the ravioli, no one had even glanced our way up until this point, and the guest at the nearby table started doing the same with his cameraphone. Immediately, a woman who I assumed to be the manager, rushed over to me. “If you are taking photos for Flickr or Eater, the chef doesn’t allow that.” Only those two? I internally sassed. “We can provide press photos,” she added. Interesting angle, the image controlling. I was aware that Paul Liebrandt might be a bit of a killjoy, but I never imagined that would translate into a deflation of my own dining experience.

Nothing was said to the VIP. I don't begrudge them, but the scolding began to feel more acute with so much specialness being showered inches away.

This brings up a gazillion issues…or two. Spending $500 doesn’t entitle you to be a wild, food paparazzi douche but does it allow some degree of digital freedom?  Rube-like as it is, taking photos of my meals gives me memory-preserving pleasure, small amounts, granted, but how harmful is it for diners to indulge their dorky tendencies?

And then there is the matter of food blogging and the pathological reliance on photography. I wrote about what I ate in 2000 text-only and no one cared. I write about what I eat in 2010, illustrate meals with pictures and slightly more people care (though I think that has more to do with blogs being mainstream versus a decade ago).

I’m not naturally inclined to take photos of anything, food included. On my first visit to Asia in 2003 I only took 11 photos (pre-digital). My last trip to Asia I took a still-restrained 226. Tomorrow I leave for Bangkok and anticipate topping this. Photo-documentation is the new norm. When I took a cooking class in Oaxaca over Thanksgiving, nearly every single student from college kid to retiree had expensive, professional DSLRs and video cameras.

It is tough because who reads about food anymore without visuals? It’s all skimming and ogling, not about words. Can you name a popular photo-free dining blog? It all depends on what a food blog is for. Do people post photos as trophies, proof that they ate someplace exotic, expensive or popular? To make themselves seem more interesting based on their dining habits? I started cataloging where I ate as an offshoot of my ‘90s online diary, just a self-absorbed way to detail the day-to-day. Comments didn’t exist yet, it wasn’t about creating community. There were message boards for that. Only the few people who cared about me would even possibly care about what I was eating. At some point this shifted in a surprising way and strangers did start gaining audiences of other food-crazed strangers. One-upmanship emerged, scoops, personalities, social media experts. And now there is a glut.

I’ve been trying to extract myself from that genre for ages. The photo, caption, photo, caption blahness. I think this will be the last of my tasting menu shot-by-shot write ups. But if I knew how to create a compelling never seen before style of food blogging, I would do it. That’s the type of innovation that could keep you in Corton tasting menus every night of the week.

There were three more dishes, the desserts, to arrive. Even though at the time the Brillat-Savarin, Black Winter Truffle, White Chocolate was completely overwhelming, it’s the only item I ate at Corton that I thought about later. I was just thinking about the creamy wedge of dairy like a savory piece of birthday cake with a thin layer of truffles in the center where the frosting would be, a thin half-dollar circle of also creamy, déclassé white chocolate as garnish (and God, no, I won’t say it was “haunting”). There was a little piece of brioche as an accompaniment. This uncomplicated but luxurious bridge between sweet and savory was my favorite.

Marcona Almond Palette, Mandarin, Fennel, Tamarind and “Baba Bouchon”
Bitter Chocolate Crème, Yogurt Crumble, Muscovado Caramel followed. By the time the final chocolate course arrived, about three hours after being seated, I was antsy and ready to leave.

You may have noticed that I’m barely talking about flavors. I honestly can’t remember them. I kind of lost interest after the camera incident but I might be losing interest in high end dining overall. I rarely leave feeling satisfied, just kind of shoulder-shrugging and flat. I want to appreciate unique and fleeting experiences without fetishizing them.

Corton * 239 W. Broadway, New York, NY


1/2 Sometimes I’m hesitant to try upscale takes on humbler dishes. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve never been to Chinatown Brasserie, despite Joe Ng’s dim sum pedigree. But my recent meal at Devi succeeded in elevating Indian food so I should be more open minded. Centrico falls somewhere in that spectrum. I’d been once before, but only to sample a michelada at the bar. This time I tried a lightly spiced, vegetal jala-piña. As both Thai and Mexican street snacks prove, tropical fruit, lime juice and chiles partner well.

Centrico_camarones_y_pozoleDespite being tempted, I didn’t try the tacos. Not because of their double digit prices, I was just swayed by a more inventive sounding starter, the camarones y pozole. The form the hominy came in was unexpected, ground and pressed into a cake, perfectly browned and crisped on the outside with steaming soft corn mush on the inside like polenta. A mound of creamy guajillo-spiked shrimp toppled over this pozole base.

Centrico_birriaI hate to admit that even in my extremely limited birria tasting experience, I prefer the thin consommé studded with shredded goat approach. Centrico birria-ized short ribs in a thick, rich, ancho broth and included trimmed baby carrots and possibly a turnip. If I had been presented this hearty braise simply as short ribs, I would’ve enjoyed them on their own merit. They’re two different animals, literally. Of course, the hand made, little grilled tortillas and lime drenched chopped onions were a fitting touch. Interestingly, one of the first web hits for birria is an Aaron Sanchez (Centrico's chef) recipe from Melting Pot, one of those old Food Network shows where people actually cooked things you'd want to eat.

I’m in Tribeca just about never but I wouldn’t be opposed to another Centrico meal if I were in the neighborhood.

Centrico * 211 W. Broadway, New York, NY


This was a bit of a surprise Valentines choice. We eat a lot of Asian food,
but never Japanese. I havent tried any of the ten million new trendy
Japanese restaurants that seem to have sprouted everywhere below
14th Street. Mostly because I'm miserly and not fond of obnoxious
scenes, but there are exceptions to every rule.

Megu ended up being surprisingly fun–maybe thats just the alcohol
talking—somehow meals always become more fun in proportion to the
amount of imbibing that occurs. Yes, the food was tiny and expensive, but it
was creative and mostly satisfying. The service was gracious and completely
unpretentious. As might be expected there were plenty of white guy/Asian
girl and wizened male/nubile females combos dotted throughout the starkly
plush room (yeah, its possible to be simultaneously minimalist yet
decadent). The tables and white leather banquettes were pleasantly spaced
and intimate, which lent to the luxurious feeling. Arm room and the ability
to hold private dinner conversations are not inalienable rights in NYC. A
gargantuan iron bell hangs from the ceiling, hovering over a large ice
carved Buddha, but somehow it seems Ok, despite verging excessive.

We were seated near the sushi bar, which frankly made for a better view
than looking out over a sea of lovers. Raw fish beats painful attempts at
impressing dates, any day. We opted for the prix fixe, of which many of the
dishes and their proper names have vanished from my memory, not that they
were unmemorable. These things just tend to blur, particularly when
preparations have lots of little components. And hey, Megu is known for its
thirteen-page tome of a menu, they don't make it easy. We started with a
glass of complimentary Veuve Clicquot (which I couldnt turn down because,
well, its alcohol, but I'm so grossed out by all the recent press given to
their CEO the sepulchral author of French Women
Dont Get Fat

Things progressed from there with an amuse of custard in an eggshell
that was flavored with the ol one-two punch of black truffles and foie gras.
Then came a champagne risotto dusted with gold leaf, a lobster ravioli, kobe
beef with six ground peppers (this was the funny part because while normally
non-questioning diners, we inquired about the differences between the
miniscule pillars of pepper positioned at the edge of the plate. The
waitress laughed, then admitted she didnt know and had to pull out her
notes. I don't know if that was unprofessional, but it made her seem more
human than many waitress-bots these places often employ), yellowtail sushi,
a rock shrimp tempura, I think, an edamame soup, perhaps another course was
in there. Like I said, it was a whirlwind and the sake and cocktails didnt
do much for bolstering brainpower.

There sort of were two desserts. I say sort of because I'm not sure that
“slightly sweet egg” counts or not. It came precariously
presented in this whimsical dish/cup combo that magnetically held the shell
at a 45-degree angle. While trying to crack the top to get to the tofu
custard I managed to drop the egg onto my lap and then the floor. The staff
was totally eagle-eyed because I thought I'd rectified the mishap before
anyone noticed, but a waiter immediately came over to replace my oddball
treat. A “real” dessert crafted into a heart and made of a
chocolate crme caramel covered in spun sugar followed it. I was also given
a small box of chocolates at dinners end, then managed to unexpectedly score
a second box while at the coat check. It's the little things, you know.

* 62 Thomas St., New York,

Mooncake Foods

Nice as can be, fun food, good prices…oddball location. I'd been meaning
to try Mooncake Foods for some time, but I'm just not ever in that weirdo
area above Tribeca, right near the Holland Tunnel. But it occurred to me
when I was trying to think of somewhere to eat that was walking distance to
M1-5 where I had to go for this Sweet
party. I don't know…hipsters and what passes for porn these
days. The food was definitely sexier than the party. The Thai beef salad,
spicy wings and summer rolls I tried were all perfectly tasty-it's the kind
of food I'd be inclined to grab on the way home from work. But seeing as how
I live in Brooklyn, that's not going to happen. I guess what I'm saying is
that Mooncake Foods isn't necessarily someplace you'd go out of your way
for, but if you were ten blocks in either direction it'd be a must-do.

Mooncake Foods28 Watts St., New York, NY

Franklin Station Cafe


I've always wondered what Tribeca French-Malaysian would be like, and now
that I've sampled some I'm still not too sure. Granted, I went for
breakfast, not the most representative meal of the day. The place offers
legitimate Malaysian dishes like laksa, rendang and satay along side roasted
turkey and tuna salad sandwiches. It's not fusion, and based upon the
seemingly Malaysian and French duo working behind the counter, appears to be
a friendship arrangement. Unfortunately, I can only comment on the
unadventurous ham and cheese omelet I ate. Boring, I know, but it didn't
seem right to risk congee in a non-Chinese establishment.

Franklin Station
* 222 W. Broadway, New York,NY



I think that this is one of those big in the '80 places, not that I would
know first hand, as I was a youngster back then, and nowhere involved with
the NYC dining scene or any scene, for that matter. This was a James
suggestion, something about the $30.01 restaurant week deal, and as we're
supposed to be supporting Tribeca and all that, it seemed fitting enough.
Actually, I wanted to go to Le Zinc so we put our names on both lists.
Unfortunately for me, the half vs. one hour wait at Odeon got James his

Not that anything was wrong with the meal. It was perfectly pleasant, I
didn't even mind waiting in the bar, there were even seats. Who needs the
crammed Le Zinc and their ungodly wait. A passed-out girl was being revived
by paramedics when we arrived. Probably overexertion from standing and
waiting so long. I went all simple and got the 1/2 roast chicken with mashed
potatoes and spinach, started with a frisee salad (can't resist anything
with lardons in it) and all was good and well.

Earlier James had been going on about wanting apple pie, and I didn't
figure Odeon would serve it. But when the dessert menu came 'round it just
happened to be on the list, immediately followed by the waitress warning
they were out of the apple pie. What were the odds? I went all-American
(well, not quite as American as apple pie) and split the hot fudge sundae.

Odeon * 145 W. Broadway, New York, NY


I'd been wanting to try Meigas for while, and a birthday seemed like the
perfect occasion (I'd sort of hinted at it as a Valentine's Dinner option,
but I wasn't terribly forceful and consequently ended up at Churascarria Plataforma, which was perfectly fine, but
definitely in a different vein). I tend to eat out a lot, but it's not that
often that I go to places with entrees over $25. It's not the price so much
(well, sort of, I am a pretty big penny pincher), but my big phobia
is the wine list. I'm no oeniphile and I'm afraid it shows. But sometimes
you've got to throw caution to the wind. I'mpressions, who cares?

I'd seen a prix fix tasting menu on their website and got all excited
about crazy things like broccoli rabe gelato and veal flavored with charcoal
oil. I mean, what exactly is charcoal oil, and should it be on your food? I
had to find out. I'd also heard about a garish mural, so that was the first
thing I looked for when I stepped inside. It was hard to miss. The entire
back wall was painted in this out of perspective, naive style, complete with
a table of food coming out of the ocean as the main focus. The best part was
the nebulous witch flying down out of the clouds from the upper right. I
only regret being seated with the monstrosity to my back.

We happened to get the intimidating half-man/half-beast waiter that's
always in the photo accompanying Meigas
. He hands-down wins the award for freak-out factor. I'm not
referring to his massive facial hair, which is neither here nor there, he's
simply intense and scary as all get out. You find yourself painfully
straining as he quietly mutters under his breath without making eye contact.
He bosses and yells at the other waiters in gruff Spanish, and he lopes
around in this beastly manner, hunching and swinging his left arm vigorously
with some unknown purpose. I cracked myself up trying to imagine if the guy
ever loosens up. Would he ever do something mundane like ordering out
Chinese and watching "The Sopranos" with friends?

I was scared to ask about the tasting menu since it wasn't on the menu I
was handed, and got nervous when he explained that the chef can specially
make things and rattled some dishes off, which I could barely catch. I went
in knowing I wanted the suckling pig and the baby squid served in its own
ink, and I'm pretty sure those words crossed his lips, but I couldn't say
for certain. I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting myself into, but I agreed
to this arrangement. I was eager to see what delicacies would make their way
to the table, and I love surprises. But at the same time, I was kind of on
guard because I had no idea what the price was (though I was guessing
somewhere near $60 since $59 was listed on the site. It ended up being
slightly more, but not by much). My biggest fear was spending over $200 on a
meal that I would barely be able to chew or taste due to my wisdom tooth
pain and stuffed up nose (ultimately, I managed alright. Only the coconut
truffle gave me some trouble at the end).

Unfortunately, I can only piece together the courses, since I didn't
have a menu to go by and it wasn't always clear what what was being served.
Sometimes it was announced as it was brought, and other times I figured it
out when the plate was cleared and the words, "How was your such and such?"
were uttered. First tapas were brought out. Fussy and small, but good. My
favorite was a tiny, balled croquette of some sort. Then came a pequillo
pepper stuffed with what I thought he said was cod, but it didn't taste like
fish. This was my least favorite of the night, simply because I'm not a big
fan of peppers. I did like the micro-mini croutons scattered throughout.
Next came the white beans with mussels (just one mussel really), which was a
big hit. I never thought something so simple could taste so amazing. This
was James's favorite, and it was his birthday so that deserves a mention.
Then came the squid in its ink, intimidating in a bowl of opaque black
liquid. I wasn't sure if you were supposed to pick the squid out of it, or
enjoy the broth in a soup-like manner. When it came down to it, the flavor
was almost like clam chowder, though nothing of the Campbell's variety. I
ended up sopping the thick juices up with some of the bread (which was very
good–especially the sweet, nutty one), which was nice, but looked crazy
with the light/dark contrast. (Beware, any places your lips may be chapped
will become stained for the night.) After that came the pompano (a
, as the waiter emphatically told us) with saffron rice and little
paprika infused olive oil swooshes. The crowning glory was the suckling pig
with a honey and sherry vinegar glaze served on top of potato slices with a
sprig of rosemary on top. Perfectly crisp skin, succulent meat, though I had
a hard time discerning flavors among the orange, green and white dabs of
accompanying sauces.

I was excited by the desserts, but then I always get a little crazy
where sweets are concerned. A chocolate mousse with chocolate pieces was
fine, but I'm not a huge mousse lover. There was a spoon containing white
fluff, a coconut truffle and a glob of gelatin that I think was supposed to
be eaten in one bite (though I picked it apart) to meld the flavors. My
favorite was the most confusing. I originally thought there were four
desserts and that the mound of sour, freaky tasting walnuts were meant to
stand alone. It wasn't until I meshed them with the mini cheesecake covered
in red glaze (not sure of the flavor) and dipped it into the neon green pool
next to it that I realized its true beauty. When the chef, Luis Bollo, came
out to see how we enjoyed our meal (always a nice touch, and I noticed he
only did this with people ordering the tasting menu. There was a group of
men at the table next to us who were always one course behind us), I had to
ask about the dessert. It turns out the walnuts were mixed with apples,
gorgonzola and vinegar (I didn't catch what the fruit was in the
green sauce). What a combination, I was very impressed.

After dinner, we were treated to a sweet glass of Valencian muscatel
which I didn't realize was part of the meal. Oh, for the wine–I chose a
moderately priced Galician white. It was a worthwhile excursion for sure.
And since I noticed a sign in the window for a $20 lunch, it's pretty
certain I'll be back. (3/24/01)

Out of business, and have been for quite some time. but recently I've
been re-reminded of Meigas because Luis Bollo is now executive chef or
somethin Suba, a place I've never had any desire to visit. (10/2/02)

Hmm…I think Meigas has reopened in some form in Norwalk, CT. Odd.

Meigas* 350 Hudson
St., New York, NY