Saturday, March 24, 2012

Esca, New York

Esca exceeded expectation.  When David, the “king of reconfirm” did a final check on our Open Table reservation, something had gone wrong but a table was made available within the hour.  The front of house offers a really warm welcome. For some entertainment they “primed” the wine glasses before serving, probably a meaningless gesture but I enjoyed the novelty.    Our server made some good recommendations and we each had a starter, shared a pasta and then a fish dish.  I began with the best scallop dish in memory.  Served with citrus including; blood orange and grapefruit, this was the stand out dish of the evening.  David and I shared slightly spicy squid ink pasta with calamari and it was rich and perfect for sharing.  For a main course I had a fish they called “Porgy” I suppose after Porgy and Bess, in any case it was a mediocre fish and enough said.  David said he’d go back for the chocolate sorbetto.  Me?  I think the scallops will never be as good again, but I’ll go back and try sometime.  Special mention to the cherry blossom arrangement at the front door.   Mario Batalli, Joe Bastianich and David Pasternack have created a great restaurant for seafood and wine lovers.  Love it!
Esca
402 W. 43rd St. (at 9th Ave)
Ph:  212-564-7272

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oysters in New York, March 2012

New York loves Oysters and so do I.  Oysters are on a lot of menus.  Daniel Boloud has a stand up bar at his multifood complex across from Lincoln Centre. We had a some martinis and wine at Boloud Bar next door and I would  be happy to eat in the restaurant anytime.  But standing up to quaff raw oysters in a rush just doesn’t work for me.  I like to go slow and sip champagne in between.  The Food Hall by Todd English had an oyster bar, although the oysters we tried there were ho hum boring and again too crazy busy to really enjoy.     But we finally made it to the Oyster restaurant in Grand Central Station, one of my new favourite places.  Grand Central is an incredible building with intriguing tunnels running off in every direction.  And those tunnels don’t just lead you to trains but to great food.  The Oyster Restaurant offers dining room seating, counter service and a saloon.  We enjoyed the dining room but next time it’s the Saloon for me.  They had 2 oysters from BC amongst a selection of 10.    The rooms are full of beautiful brick arches like the best cave restaurants, the service is casual and efficient, the atmosphere bustling until you check the tables where everything has paused in blissful food enjoyment.  Oh yeah!  I LOVE Grand Central.

The Food Hall by Todd English at The Plaza NYC March 2012

A new food concept is sweeping across FoodieLand.  Multi food styles served under one roof.  Our first experience was in Lyon at Rue La Bec, a single dining hall with stations preparing food in different styles, Asian, French,  the Bakery.  The Food Hall by Todd English is eating belly up to the food prep station.  You can order from any of the many counters with comfortable stools facing the chefs.  I especially found Joe the cheese guy was engaging and informative and he helped me choose the cheeses for TTG wine and New York cheese tasting this week.  The location at the Plaza Hotel couldn’t be better either.  Central Park South is a fantastic location.  New York has every kind of eating experience and this kind of dining offers something for everyone.  We have to go back to try Eately and we still haven't been to the Chelsea market.  So much New York and so little time.

Milos NYC March 2012 Best Fish Dish Ever!!

Milos NYC is an amazing food experience and my favourite of some darn good meals on this trip to New York.  Greek restaurateur Costas Spiliadis made a statement about food 30 years ago when he took butter off the menu and put olive oil on the table for dipping.  Milos IS the Mediterranean diet.  Fresh seafood grilled or baked. Everything is sourced from the best the world has to offer.  And it all started in Montreal.  We had the best calamari ever, fried  crisp and clean with tomato dipping sauce.  Grilled sardines, vegetables, Loup de Mer, Solettes.  Every dish had simply flavours that shone through the delicious olive oil. You get to pick your fish from the beautiful display on ice.   The experience, the food and the service were Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!   We’re already planning dinner in Montreal soon.

 btw  Loup de Mer is my new fave fish.

Milos New York
125 W 55th St.
Ph: 212-245-7400