A couple days ago I was watching the Slam Dunk contest on TNT the night before the AllStar game. As they normally do, the camera was scanning the audience looking for celebrities that were in attendance and there popped up Bobby Flay. What in the world is Bobby Flay doing on the TV? Don't get me wrong... I love the Food Network and watch it religiously. And heck, I would definitely like to meet Bobby, Rachel, or Mario, anytime. But mainstream celebrity?
My answer to my rhetorical question: "Hell yeah!"
I bring this up only because later that night I had reservations at Bar Americain!
All little too pretentious and over the top, the decor at Bar Americain was as classic upscale New York as they come. I can't complain too much though, since I try and frequent these types establishments often. It wasn't too dark, but a good loud bistro-like environment. Actually, did you know that Bar Americain is labeled as an "American Brasserie." And did you know that a brasserie, as defined by American Heritage dictionary, is: "A restaurant serving alcoholic beverages, especially beer, as well as food." I didn't.
All in all, I had a pleasant experience. The service was top-notch. My cousin's wine glass had a little green speck in it, that the waiter immediately changed the glass and wine, and was very apologetic. And my glass of wine had really a lot of sediment in it (I mean I can handle a "normal" amount, but this was excessive), and while I didn't notice it until I was three quarters through my glass, he gave me a new one at no charge - I left a good tip. What do you think though, at a restaurant like that, is it bad service to even have to deal with that?
We started the dinner with the Three Shellfish Tasting - Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp. The shrimp was way overcooked; the crab, which had little-to-no flavor, was subtly sweet in its mango sauce; and the lobster was awesome - chilled, yet not too firm because it was cooked well, with a very subtle and savory vinaigrette tossed with some greens.
I had the pleasure of having dinner with my two cousins, who were amenable to me "suggesting" what they should eat and letting me try it (Translation: I ordered three entrees and ate off of my cousins' plates). Cousin 1 had mussels with frenchfries. The mussels were well cooked with big soft pieces in each black clutch (that's a small woman's purse that she holds in her hand, in case you didn't know what I was getting at), that highlighted a little red pepper spice that added just enough heat to make the dish memorable. French fries were not memorable, but definitely not bad.
Cousin 2 had the pork chop, which on first bite was succulent, juicy (which means succulent), briny, soft, and scrumptious. Bite 4-5, revealed an overcooked piece of meat, and we realized later the waiter had never asked us how we'd like the chop done. That made me very sad.
My BBQ ribeye steak was done absolutely perfectly. The inside was red (not pink), without even a hint of blood, but was juicy nonetheless. I have to admit, the steak wasn't as flavorful as I'd hoped, despite the BBQ sauce and excess amount of fat that was marbled throughout, a bit too though.
If you're a tea lover, get the early grey tea ice cream. Awesome.
Overall, you can't get away from the celebrity chefs. And why would you want to? Mr. Flay, can I get your autograph?