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Sel Rrose

sgordon | Dec 12, 201609:01 AM

Checked out Sel Rrose the other night - it hadn't really been on my radar before, they've been around a couple (few?) years and struck me more as a trendy cocktail joint with incidental cocktail-joint food a la "truffle fries" and whatnot, but they recently put in a new chef with a solid reputation (Carl Frederiksen from Aamans, Acme, Rosette, etc...) and the menu looked fun after he'd revamped it.

Damn good meal. Started with a couple of great crudos - Mackerel with pumpkinseeds and apple ("Thanksgiving Ceviche" I called it) and Hake with a more traditional spicy-citrus preparation, though I don't remember the specifics.

Next, Gravlax (the chef's Danish roots showing - with currants, mustard, and creme fraiche) along with a couple of veg dishes, classic radishes w/ butter (elevated with a couple different kinds of seaweed) and a very good chicory salad with a bright orange dressing and chunks of parm.

Personal favorite dish of the night was steak tartare with charred lemon, sesame and anchovy. The sesame-anchovy combo took it in that ever-so-slight Asian direction. A couple heartier cold-weather dishes were a confit duck leg with farro and saba, and a classic New England lobster pot pie. All really solid.

We shooed away the dessert menu but the kitchen sent out a little crustless chocolate tart gratis, super-rich with a hint of orange. Based on that, I'll leave room next time.

I didn't have a cocktail as they leaned sweeter than my tastes run - every cocktail, save one, had some kind of flavored/infused syrup/agave/honey in it. Clearly they're more on-trend than my ass given it was SRO at the bar. So, I suppose people who prefer sweeter cocktails love them. I stuck to wine & beer. Small but decent selection on the suds, well-curated BTG wine list.

One thing I did note was that the tables seemed to be... short? Not as extreme as, say, Caffe Reggio (where I feel like I've been crammed into a dollhouse) - but there's a standard dining table height (IIRC, 18" high seat with a 30" tabletop, though one can fudge it from 17.5-19 / 29.5-31 comfortably) and these felt... a little shy of the fudgeable parameters. I dunno. I mean, it's not like I measured them or anything but I've sat at a lot of tables and put together a couple EIKs and dining rooms. That said, I'm rather tall, and the SO who's a foot shorter had no complaints. Also it might have "felt" short since the waitstaff are all, like, 6' models.

Seems like they do mostly walk-in business (it was easy to get a rez, but the place was mobbed) - tables seemed to run the gamut from artsy to bro-y. Kind of comparable with, say, the scene at Le Turtle, just more bar-centered. It was Saturday night, though, which skews things - weeknights I gather it's a more chill scene with locals. Will be back, for sure.

Sel Rrose
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