Well, it happened to me again. Spent the last four days in midtown and, as usual, thoroughly enjoyed my evening dining in some old favorite restaurants and a great new find (more on the latter later). However, once again, I ran into a situation that puzzled me. Has this ever happened to you ... ?
I settle in at my table, my glass of wine or drink arrives and, after a few minutes, the waiter appears with the menu and proceeds to announce the nightly specials. He leaves; I peruse the menu and consider the specials; he returns; I order and wait for the first course to arrive. At some point after I begin eating, other diners arrive and are seated at a nearby table. The normal settling-in routine takes place; the (same) waiter then arrives with the menu and announces the nighly specials. But ... he not only announces the specials that he had announced to me just 15 or 20 minutes earlier, he announces other specials as well !!! Specials I would have loved to order!!! How can the special selection have changed in the course of 15 or 20 minutes ? Is this just a case of forgetfulness on the waiter's part, or is something else going on ? I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. Maybe I should begin specifically asking, "Are there any other specials available tonight ? Anything you might have FORGOTTEN ?"
Anyway, my new find in midtown (not the restaurant with the "missing" specials) is a restaurant I've passed on many occasions in the past, but finally decided to try on this trip because of a recommendation I read on this or one of the other NYC message boards. Salmon River, on E. 40th between Fifth and Madison. I never really gave it a second look in the past because, based on the name alone, it appeared to feature American cuisine. Now, I don't have any objections to American cuisine, per se, but with all the great ethnic choices in NY, it admittedly is not at the top of dining choices list. This place, however, is great. Had a great prix fix meal consisting of baby lettuce and tomato salad with chianti vinagerette, warm biscuits, broiled salmon served with fresh whole baby peas art vert atop scallion mashed potatoes in a scallion reduction, stawberries and raspberries with cream, and coffee, all for $20.02 (between 5:00 and 6:45). Wine was extra, of course, but the total cost was still very, very reasonable. Other entres on the prix fix menu include chicken in a sage risotto, smoked salmon, tomatos and vegetables in a light creme sauce, and medallions of pork in bourbon reduction. Zagat's referred to the restaurant as an "undiscovered midtown gem." I agree, and I will return.