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A couple great meals...LONG

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A couple great meals...LONG

Aaron | Dec 11, 2003 12:33 PM

Hello Fellow Chowhounds -

A couple great meals to report:

First, this past Saturday braved the snowstorm to head to dinner at relatively new Greek restaurant Thalassa in Tribeca - Franklin Street, I think, between Greenwich and Hudson. Had called ahead to see if a Prix-fixe was available ($30 for three courses) and was told it was. Upon arrival, saw in the menu that the prix-fixe is only supposed to be Mon-Thurs, but upon checking with the hostess, the waiter graciously let us order off the PF anyway.

Atmosphere is stunning, modern, spare and beautiful. There is a coffeetable book in the bar area profiling the architect and the first project in the book is Thalassa.

There's lots of space between tables and though the restaurant was far from crowded (hopefully just because of the snowstorm), I think it would be relatively civilized even on a crowded night.

Great olives come with delicious bread. Service was amazing - attentive yet unobtrusive.

Appetizers - sausage for my date, lamb shish-kabobs for me. Main courses - grilled white fish for my date, lamb chops for me (I know, lamb overdose). Dessert - baklava for me (rated best in city, by Village Voice), creme brulee (I think) for my date.

Basically, all the food was awesome. Especially I though the lamb was tender, flavorful and juicy.

Highly recommended! Also I think they have wine tastings and a Sunday night 5 course (!) $30 PF just for the rest of December.

Other recent great meals -

Hoi An, Vietnamese place in Tribeca on West Broadway. The best Vietnamese food I've had in the city. Most Vietnamese places I've been to in NYC seem to be run by Chinese and offer what in my opinion is food that is very similar to Chinese food. This place (Hoi An) is actually run by a very friendly Japanese staff. Many clientele are also Japanese. It's a small place, but nicely decorated. The dishes are a nice size and _very_ inexpensive for the quality and ambience. I had a crab and asparagus soup ($3), Lotus salad, fish curry main course (under $10). Also a lotus tea in a lovely teapot with matching teacup. My only gripe would be that there's no free tea - but with tea this good and this well-presented (and imported from Vietnam) according to the menu, I'm willing to pay a few dollars. Also, just FYI, Hoi An is apparently a town/city in Vietnam that is heavily Japanese-influenced in terms of architecture, etc...

Finally, last night ate at Morrells, Broadway btwn 19/20. This is the offshoot of the Morrells wine bar in Rockefeller Center. The restaurant on Broadway offers ~150 wines by the glass, plus many more by the bottle. Three of us each had one entree, one glass of wine, shared appetizers and dessert, coffee and tea and the bill came to about $55/pp incl tax/tip. Not cheap, but not outrageous either. Food and presentation were both top-notch. Atmosphere is very modern, very stylish. Service friendly and professional. We were originally shown to a table by a maitre'd, but requested a booth so we could spread out and relax a little. Were given a huge booth (by NY standards) for just the three of us, with a great view of the dining room. Food included a fois gras appetizer that may have been the best fois gras I've ever had. A delicious squash soup (I think butternut). Main courses were filet mignon, ribeye and duck. I though the steaks were just ok (filet better than ribeye), but the duck was fantastic. Again, perhaps the best duck I've ever eaten (though I don't order it that often). It was tender, dense, flavorful, and with a delicious skin cooked to perfection. Portions were generous enough that we took some of each entree home with us. We only had room for one dessert and shared a chocolate bombe-sort of thing with chocolate mousse in the center. As a nice touch, they brought out complementary truffles after the table was cleared. In sum, a wonderful experience, above and beyond my expectations. My only gripe would be that wine portions are far from generous, which may irk some who come specifically for the wine. But we only ordered by the glass. There were a number of interesting sounding bottles in the $20s and $30s.

Hope enough 'hounds will try these places so that they thrive -- but not so many 'hounds that I have to wait for a table! ;)

Happy dining and happy holiday season to everyone!

Aaron

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