And the fat life continues!
What: Landmark American restaurant in Central Park near Lincoln Center. You may recognize the name from Ghostbusters, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Futurama, Seinfeld and the Simpsons. Originally a sheepfold but turned into a restaurant in the 1930s.
Ambiance: Lounge with sofas in one room and tables in another. The room with tables has glass walls, which was pretty cool since we could see people jogging around Central Park and could also feel the sun warming us up. Waiters were very friendly and seemed to be having a good time. Fancy, sleek and modern feel, almost like a hotel.
Appetizer: Salmon tartare with black pepper and fennel crème fraîche and grilled garlic toast. Salmon was soft and tender, not too chewy despite not being the fattiest salmon I’ve had. Dill sprinkled on top provided a gentle sourness that highlighted the sweet freshness of the fish. Almost no briny seafood odor at all. Crème fraîche was rich and smooth without being heavy and brought out the milky undertones of the salmon (I know, salmon actually can taste milky. Quite surprising). Bread was thinly sliced and provided a rough crunch to contrast with the smooth softness of the fish, and the neutralizing toasted flavor of the bread, as well as the sharp but subtly sweet garlic and the aroma of the oil, made all the flavors blend so seamlessly that I could not tell where one ended and the other began. Was slightly disappointed when I finished the garlic bread; eating the salmon alone, while still delicious, was just not the same.
Main course: Grilled half-chicken, portabella mushroom potato gratin, roasted autumn vegetables, shaved vegetable salad of arugula, beets, onions, thinly sliced asparagus, and cucumbers. Salad was refreshing with a slightly sour and vinegar-like dressing, which, combined with the beets, made the otherwise-bitter arugula grassy sweet. The thin potato slices of the gratin were firm but not undercooked; nice tender texture with the slightest hint of graininess. Mushrooms provided a squishy and juicy sweetness that highlighted the subtle milky cheesiness of the dish, but I would have liked more mushrooms because I’m obsessed. I’m pretty sure the “roasted autumn vegetable” was yucca, and this was the first time I tried it. It was almost like a cross between a potato and a mushroom in terms of taste and texture; slightly sweet and squishy yet milky and tender at the same time. Seasoned with herbs that provided a savory fragrance and brought out the natural freshness of the vegetable. Chicken drumstick and wing part were juicy and tender with the skin lightly fried to a crusty crispiness with a slight roughness from the salt that was cooked into it. Middle section of the chicken was pretty dry, but at least it wasn’t tough. Extremely flavorful with seasoning of rosemary and other herbs, as well as the fragrant oil, that highlighted the natural sweetness of the meat.
Dessert: Mixed berry compote with raspberry sorbet. Almost like a berry soup, which was pretty fun. Had almost a syrupy sweetness characteristic of compote, but it didn’t mask the natural flavor of the berries. Berries weren’t cooked to the point of mush; still had structure and bite to them. Sorbet wasn’t pure fruit sorbet; had a little milk in there, more like ice cream. Served a bit too solid and it was difficult to eat, but not icy and was still rich with a nice graininess from the raspberry seeds (that’s how you know that it’s the real deal).
Overall: Extremely nice setting, cozy and comfortable seating, and food was definitely made with quality ingredients. There was just so much food that this lunch was literally the only meal I ate for the entire day. Definitely a memorable experience! Thanks Caroline for taking me!
Rating: 5/5 spoons 🙂