last night i went to red cat, on 10th avenue bet. 23rd & 24th in chelsea, and i really enjoyed it.
appetizer was veal sweetbreads, served over a bed of lentils cooked with caramelized onions, pancetta, pecans, served with cranberry relish around the side.
entree was grilled salmon, served over a bed of shaved brussel sprouts, hazelnuts, and scallion bacon vinaigrette.
global comments: both dishes were quite good, involving interesting combinations of ingredients, leading to nice flavor and texture combinations. the flavors were clear and distinct, simply prepared yet very well balanced. everything was cooked to the appropriate degree of doneness and no one element of a dish dominated the others. you could taste each element in a dish, but you also felt the elements play off of each other and come together into a harmonious whole. preparations were simple and understated, no complicated sauces or extravagant ingredients. overall, the food was solid and skillfully prepared.
dessert was delightful -- risotto fritters served with fresh blueberries and honey semifreddo (similar to gelato). the fritters were small and light, creamy on the inside, and coated with cinnamon sugar on the outside. like churros but better! the fresh blueberry and honey semifreddo were wonderful accompaniments.
overall, this was one of the best meals i've had in some time. simple food, simply prepared, but delicious. the kind of thing you think you should be able to find everywhere, but in reality is almost nowhere. a refreshing change after having had more than a few high-priced disappointments.