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Restaurants & Bars 5

Casa Mono--finally got a walk-in table

jakew8 | Feb 13, 200811:01 AM

After dropping in unannounced on Casa Mono half a dozen times (admittedly on busy nights) and being turned away or given untenable wait times, we walked down there last (Tuesday) night through the snow. We were told that we could have seats in 15 minutes but that we had to give a cell phone number and leave because there's no room to wait. No problem; one drink and Cibar down the street and they called back and we were in business.

Here's the run-down:

Duck egg with fingerling potatoes: she liked it more than I did. I thought that the textures were too divergent and you couldn't get a good bite together. Flavors were nothing to write home about.

Goat cheese pumpkin croquettes: great crust on the outside, soft goat cheese inside. Well done. Notable pumpkin flavor. I felt they were too sweet--I could see them passing as a dessert; she disagreed.

Flank steak: great. Nice char on the outside but not burnt, medium rare inside. Topped with some acidic sauteed onions and underneath was a red pepper relish. Flavors went very well together.

Patatas Bravas: more fingerling potatoes; these with a smoky adobo-like gritty sticky sauce everywhere. Please pardon that description. There were some sliced scallions that livened it up; they could have been more liberal with them. This was one of those dishes that aims high but hits low--they reminded me of KC Masterpiece BBQ potato chips (not that that's a bad thing).

Brussels sprouts "a la plancha": grilled brussels sprouts. pretty self-explanatory; they were cooked properly and tasted great. nicely seasoned.

Dessert: bread pudding with caramel ice cream: a lot going on here--golden raisins, currants?, caramel ice cream, rum?, a slightly bitter syrup down on the plate. It was good but not spectacular.

Wine: one small carafe of white Rioja; one small carafe of red Rioja. Couldn't tell you the producers but they were the only ones available by the carafe. Both were very good for their cost. The white was well-balanced with a hit of oak and ML. The red was also very drinkable and wasn't overpowering (although it would have to be a fruit bomb or mouth-suckingly tannic to overpower this food).

The service was good; everyone was friendly. Our total was $100 not including service.

Next time the rest of Gramercy is shuttered indoors due to inclement weather, we'll definitely be back.

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