So last Saturday night we decided to hit the East Village. We started at Euzkadi, both because of the recommendation of a friend and because it's on the idine list (idine.com, 20% off!). Once the neighboring table paid up and left it became a pleasant environment (they were very drunk and very loud, and tables are very close).
We decided we weren't quite hungry enough for the standard 2xappetizer + 2xentree equation, so we went for the tapas (Euzkadi is Basque cuisine), some specials, some from the conventional menu. The Pyrenees cheese selection with membrillo was "quite good," says Toot -- ranging from bleu to harder selections. We also enjoyed the frisee salad w/ caramelized walnuts, the duck meatballs (nice sauce for dipping bread), and the ham&cheese croquettes. The marinated mushrooms special we ordered was unequivocally uninteresting, but an aberration. The garlic fries were as indulgent as expected, i.e., you must order them.
Toot forbade dessert, even though the pepper-crusted flan sounded great, but it was a fortuituous prohibition. On our post-prandial stroll we encountered the ultra-trendy Chikalicious, and decided to go with the gawking crowds.
The amuse was a ginger gelee w/ plum granite, most amusing indeed, and our "entree desserts" were: 1. chocolate mousse tarte w/ pink peppercorn ice cream, and 2. mascarpone semifreddo w/ espresso granite and lemon cake. The flavors were all intense and well-matched, but be forewarned -- this is a feng shui type of presentation, and portions are tasteful, er, tiny. But the emphasis is in on deliciousness. The chefs are pleasant and very smiley in their gleaming new kitchen, and the dessert-wine pairings seem knowledgable, especially compared to our relative ignorance. But wow -- $40-something for dessert/wine, before tip . . . next time it's on an expense account!
(The "third course" were freshly prepared before-your-eyes petit-fours, all delectable. So maybe $12 per is not so bad considering it covers 3 desserts.)
Only in New York.