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Manhattan

The Orchard. Report

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The Orchard. Report

fresser | Apr 24, 2006 04:49 PM

Went on Friday night with two friends. Service was attentive, prompt, friendly, helpful. I liked the ambience and decor, warm lighting was nice.
We started with the mushroom flatbread. I'd kind of wanted to try the short ribs flatbread but was vetoed. It was crispy, as befits a flatbread (though I prefer a slightly chewier kind) and the mushrooms, royal trumpet, were soft and woodsy, both of these being good thing IMO. One friend ordered the goat cheese salad. I didn't care for this: romaine lettuce with small wedges of that purple rined drunken goat cheese. Certainly a break from the standard baby greens and chevre, but not a break that seemed necessary in this case. Plus, it sort of had a caesary dressing, which was just weird. We also had the tuna tartare which came with thick cut tostones, guac, and sour cream. While this was pretty good, there was too much of a chive taste to the guac and the whole thing would've benefited from lime juice. However, I did like those tostones, nice and chewy!
My friends both had the butter poached halibut, which I tasted; it was tender, but didn't have much flavor. The side, of crispy black beans, was good, who'd've thunk of crisping a black bean and making a salsa of it? Well, they did and i'm glad of it.
I had the gnocchi, which were soft and pillowy but had been seared, so had a bit of crust. Different but good. This sat atop braised (i think) eggplant which I liked for once...eggplant usually seeming greasy to me. There were also tomatoes, roasted, i believe, which lent a nice note of acidity. I really enjoyed this!
For dessert, we split the dulce de leche ice-cream with caramelized banana and caramel sauce and also had the mini carrot cupcakes, which were yummy but the frosting was a bit bland.
$175 with tax and tip. It was BYO and we had two bottles. Not inexpensive...but tasty and as it was a b-day celebration, it was a festive and fun place.

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