Review - Compass (208 W. 70th, 212 875 8600)
We had a lovely dinner at Compass last night before a show at Lincoln Center. The decor is modern minimalist, but well executed with great lighting and plush booths. The tables are set up well: double white table cloths, great table settings (replaced each course) and fine Riedel stemware. In addition, we found our server and hostess to be warm and knowledgeable. To wit: she warned us off a mushroom tasting course as she thought we might miss our show if we went for that more time consuming option, she knew all the ingredients of the dessert my wife was interested in, and cheerfully popped opent the bottle of 1990 St Emilion we had brought while advising us of the (very fair) $30 corkage fee.
They started with an amuse bouche of (I think) yellow tail tuna in a garlic infusion. It was pretty good and even merited a full clearing of the plates. The bowl of bread they gave was pretty large, and varied.
I started with the crispy sweetbreads, which was a pretty big chunk, breaded and then panfried to a very crispy level. It was served with some kind of creamy cous-cous or pasta whose texture was toothsome, then covered with a flavored oil. I liked it -- sweetbreads are a rare treat for me. The wife had a raw oyster appetizer which seemed ok.
We then had our main courses. I had the scallops with short rib risotto. The scallops were pretty large and seared to a beautiful brown while the risotto was pretty rich, with slivers of short rib and cheese. The wife had the tenderloin along which was served with an oxtail stuffed cannelini. That was rich and tasty in particularly, although heavy. The portions were average sized for an haute cuisine place ; we had heard stories that Compass's portions were underwhelming but I didn't find that to be the case.
Afterwards we had a blood orange parfait which was quite nice. While the check was brought out they also brought out a small plate of cookies including white chocolate covered pork rinds, which tasted sort of like yoghurt covered pretzels. As an extra treat they gave us a pair of muffins for the next morning - another nice touch from their inhouse pastry chef.
Dinner for two was $150 all in, which is high, but actually good value for everything we got and the quality/service level. I'd go back and recommend it especially if you are going to Lincoln center afterwards.