Restaurants & Bars 8

nopa

laaronson | Jun 28, 2006 05:20 AM

stupidly, i stumbled into this already popular restaurant without a reservation (yes, they do take "same day" ones) a mere 3 days after Bauer's loving 3 star review. However, thanks to a big bar, an even bigger communal table and the long days , I was able to grab 2 seats at the long communal table after just a few minutes.

I have eaten here a few times and have to admit, while I found the surroundings and service really great, couldn't really say the food wowed me - it was solid and fairly priced but seemed like it may be well on the way to being another overhyped place.

well, without drawing any conclusions (but with kudos to the kitchen for the quality post review, when the guest counts surge dramatically), I will just post this pretty perfect meal.

2 of us, neither starving enough for multiple courses...

started with the salmon carpaccio. wonderful incredible salmon but really, it's a great ingredient, presented as such.

the 2 entrees we got are what cause me to post. One was the pork served with (bacon?) beans and wilted greens, the other a morroccan vegetable tagine, served with a rich yogurt, almonds and cilantro topping.

these 2 entrees seem like the carnivore and vegan (hold the yogurt) fantasy. I recollect a recent post about how hard it is to find restaurants that satsify both the meat and plant eater, without making one of them feel slighted. Well, these seems to be the perfect spot - both dishes really shone. Each vegetable in the tagine was appropriately crisp and yet the whole dish melded together, punctuated by a wonderful preserved lemon flavor. The pork was tender, brined, and the beans and greens well integrated and full of flavor, without overwhelming the meat.

Both dishes were rich and satisfying, without being heavy, and never for a bite, dull.

One entree was $16, the other $18, IIRC. The bill, post tip, was $80. THis included $15 corkage and some bubbly water.

I'm a little more converted.

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