I use this board often and appreciate all the recs and info I get here. So I wanted to give a quick report on our visit to the city over Christmas weekend.
Our first meal out was at Bowery Bar, and I was impressed with everything but the prices, which seemed high to me. We had a very casual meal, and the bill was $50 pp. Most of us had an appetizer and a salad, but out of 6 people there were two chicken dinners and 1 or 2 drinks pp. We chose BB because we had two dogs with us, and they welcome them in the garden room. This was a fabulous thing for us, as it was a reunion of sorts, and we wanted to walk, talk and enjoy the company of family members' dogs.
The best dish was the huge grilled shrimp appetizer. We liked everything else, except the crab cakes which were disappointing. Those grilled shrimp were in a very spicy green cilantro flavored sauce and they were truly yummy. Service was good: prompt, responsive and friendly.
We had a gift certificate for Keen's Steakhouse and ate there the following night. It was excellent. My husband had a calamari appetizer, and I had the house salad with balsamic dressing. The fresh rolls (maybe sourdough) were delicious, as was the butter. It tasted European. They also served a relish tray with a fresh and delicious blue cheese dip.
I had double lamb chops with haricot vert, and my husband had a filet and baked potato. All very good. But dessert was the best: my creme brulee was outstanding, and my husband's cheesecake was light and cheesy. I had a decaf and the final bill was $114.
The next day was Christmas Eve. We had lunch at Spring Natural, and my challah french toast with chicken apple sausage and maple syrup was good and came with some very nice fresh berries. Good service, too.
That night we took our married kids to Roberto Passon on 9th Ave and had a great time. The calamari and zucchini appetizer that we all shared had a great, and I mean great, roasted tomato sauce. Another memorable dish was a special appetizer of baby artichokes in a spicy tomato sauce. This was something I would like to have again. Desserts were very good: I had profiteroles with excellent whipped cream and a rich dark chocolate sauce. The bill for 4 with 3 or 4 drinks, 2 appetizers, 3 salads, 4 pastas and 4 desserts was 171. Service was very good.
We had gone to Ferrara's bakery earlier in the day, for petit fours for my daughter, but they were sold out. The staff was rude, confrontational, nasty, and the cake we bought (chocolate death or some such nonsense) was good but not great. The sfogiatelle we bought were mediocre. I don't think I'd go back. I bought sfogiatelle there last year, and thought they were better at that time. I have since had much better ones right here in Pittsburgh, which is saying something.
So, that's my report. We had a great weekend and a very nice Christmas. Thanks for any and all help I received here for this trip, and many others.
Happy New Year!