So last Thursday (July 15th), I decided to take my friend to the Bymark for her bday. Now I cant normally afford to go these types of restaurants on the regular, so this was as much a treat for me as it was for her.
Anyways, its been a while since Ive been exposed to such upper class food (I used to work in one of the kitchens in the Four Seasons a few years back) so I was pretty excited. We had reservations for 1:30, but I got caught up at work (damn traders!) I called a couple times to push back our resos by 15 min and they were fine with it both times. We finally got there just before 2:00.
Its really REALLY nice in there. I know thisll sound lame, but I found it pretty hip and modern (laugh, architechtualizm design is not my forte!)
After receiving our drinks, I let our server know that we only had an hour before we had to get back to work. She mentioned it would be no problem and took our order. We were provided w/two pieces of bread each (served individually). Im pretty sure one was a baguette slice, the other was cut from an olive loaf. My friend (a vegetarian as an aside, itd be nicer to see more restaurants promote veggie-friendly options on their Summerlicious menus, but thats another post) ordered the gazpacho soup. She said it was pretty good and refreshing. The portion size was pretty substantial too! I ordered the mushroom strudel. It came a touch less warm then I would like, but it tasted really good. Nice and simple. Great earthy flavor from the different mushroom types used. The phyllo pastry was nice and crisp.
Mains: She ordered the rigatoni and said she liked it. I thought it was alright. I tried the grilled octopus and squid. I had forgoten how tender octopus could be. I liked it a lot. Nice dressing. It came w/a little variety of mixed greens (red leaf, uhm, the rest I could recognize, but couldnt remember the names of. Doh!)
For dessert, we tried one of each and both were enjoyable. Instead of the ginger crème brulee, she was served a banana type cake. My friend really enjoyed the temperature contrast between the warm cake and cold ice cream. As for the soft meringue, it looked like a giant egg on top of some berry compote. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. Just the right amount of sweetness. My favorite part of the meal! I kept saying This sh!t is good! at least four times (sorry for the profanity, but I liked it that much!)
The presentation was excellent on each plate. The portions were perfect (if not, larger than expected) and the service was very professional! And we were done at about 2:50!! All in all, a great experience. So for two Summerlicious lunches, an iced tea and a bottle of sparkling water and tax: $51 and change. (Now, Im not sure how it goes, but the final bill came out w/an extra $8 on it. Is that an automatic gratuity that was added? My friend threw in an extra $5 bill on top of the $59. Did we tip correctly??)
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