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Manhattan

Reporting back: Babbo,Bouley,Prune,Town, etc.-long

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Restaurants & Bars 15

Reporting back: Babbo,Bouley,Prune,Town, etc.-long

danna | Dec 16, 2003 10:06 AM

My reviews in chronological order:

Fri:
2nd Ave Deli - Husband liked the pastrami but was sorry he ordered extra lean. I was trying not to eat anything for lunch, saving room for Babbo, but fell in love with the chopped liver. I'm pretty sure it's the best I've ever had.

Babbo - I love the place. We actually had reservations this time...we were 15 minutes late and were relieved that we weren't chastised. At 6:15 the place was mobbed. Green apple champagne cocktail a pleasant start. The beef check ravioli were richly meaty, just as I had hoped. Black truffle shavings were actually visible. Tuna "from special menu" was very nice quality tuna served w/ celery root and pomegranite, perhaps a bit too salty. Husband's sicilian lifeguard calamari was also good. In retrospect I wish one of us had gotten something meatier...I was envious of a number of giant chops of one kind or another walking around. Quartino of Syrah from Sardinia was very good. The squash cheesecake w/ creme fraiche ice cream was good but not great.

Sat:
City Bakery - This was my second trip here, and I'm just not impressed by the pastries. I'm glad I learned on this board that the hot chocloate was available in a "shot"...that was definately all I needed. They did not have any marshmellows for sale...bummer.

John's Pizza - What can you say? It's pretty good. I'm not the pizza connoissuer my husband is, but after trying Patsy's and Lombardi's, he's settled on Johns as his best NY pizza. Again, I was trying to starve myself for dinner...

Bouley - The restaurant is beautiful. We had the tasting menu, and indeed, it's about the right portion sizes for me. (After the tasting menu at Pierre Gagnaire where I begin to panic a little that there could be a "wafer-thin-mint" scenario, I worry a bit when I order a tasting menu) I think 240 lb husband could have eaten quite a bit more.

Amuse was cucumber sorbet with green apple foam in a parfair glass. Quite memorable. I had tuna carpaccio very nice with tiny shredded fennel and a ponzu flavor (sake for wine pairing), husband had seafood in the herbal ocean broth..he loved it, it didn't do that much for me. We both had the "return from Chiang Mai" and it was our least favorite dish, although it sounded fabulous. Note to self: don't combine lobster and ham. No amount of mango and passion fruit is gonna save that one. A very nice Reisling Kabinett was poured.

We also both had the Lobster main course (waiter seemed disturbed by double lobster ordering) It was spectacular. The Ox Heart Tomato sorbet was a highlight. At this point I realized possibly why the waiter questioned my choices. I was having the wine pairings, and I suppose I would have maximized my wine experience by having something a little more red friendly at that point. They served an Oregon Pinot Noir which either was not a particularly interesting wine, or was not a good pair w/ the Lobster. You wine experts please comment. They left the bottle on the table and poured it freely...too bad it was my least favorite of the evening...but a very nice touch.

Fruit soup with sorbet was delicious as was the Beaume de Venise. Rasberry Cloud and Valhrona cake w/ 3 ice creams were both very good although not stellar ( may be a jaded dessert eater). Botritis ?forgot grape? was the final pour. A tiny parfait of strawberries and white chocolate creme and petit fours finished up the dessert extravaganza.

Oh, I almost forgot the bread...one of the highlights. The raisin bread and the apple roll were memorable. There were actually too many choices to try them all...and I'm usually willing to give that a shot!

Sun:
Prune - went there in the snow, and happy we arrived at 10:30 and not 15 minutes later when the tiny place filled up. I loved the "prune" juice, was fascinated by the vodkas in decorated icebowls, but must not drink that early! The "Joe's Dairy" was a bowl of rich, delicious, beautifully textured ricotta cheese w/ pears, figs, toasted pine nuts and honey. Perfect. Husband ordered a ham and cheese omlette...do NOT ask me why he would get the one food that might be possible to get as good in SC as in NYC. I was interested that they refused to substitute additional whites for some of the yolks. What do other hounds think about that request?

Trattoria Trecolor - OK...it LOOKED like an icky time square tourist place, but it had been recommended on this board. It WAS IN FACT an icky tourist place, food super salty, mussles and shrimp in the spit-them-out category. In defense of the 'hound who recommened it...I imagine my requirements for a restaurant that serves in the mid afternoon on a Sunday makes for difficult choices.

Town - My husband had left for the airport at this point. I stopped by Town for a cocktail and light supper around 9:00. Loved the fresh peach bellini. Nice endive salad, averagely good foie gras pate. Decadent, although not perfectly wrought chocolate beignets. I suppose I should have been paying attention to the prices, but I was a bit chagrined by the $75 price tag (before tip) for 2 drinks , 2 apps and a dessert. They did give me an umbrella on my way out, a nice touch.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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