After trying to make a one-day-ahead reservation in other top rated restaurants we ended up, yesterday, at Union Pacific. Despite some downhill warnings we had an excellent dinner although I would say that there are some better values for $125 per person that we spent (including wine & tip).
The Blue Fin Tuna with with yuzu and fresh wasabi was stunning the Tuna meat was of a real top grade quality. The YELLOW CURRY OF BABY CALAMARI was excellent The foam-covered sautéed foie gras topped over a disk of pineapple was overwhelmed by the too thick piece of pineapple. The PUNGENT SLICED BEEF with red curry and thai basil was just good. The BLACK COD with carrot pudding and saffron sauce was fantastic. The MISO-MARINATED HANGAR STEAK with maitake mushrooms was very good but Craft's hangar stake is better. The espresso-size cup of corn soup with chive-scented olive oil was brilliant. The CRISPY SOFT SHELL CRABS with a hot and sour XO sauce were good. The French Boudreaux wine was fantastic. Deserts were good but not breathtaking.
The restaurant was not full (the small bar was half empty and the second floor sitting area was completely empty). Somebody who works at UP told me that RDS, the celebrity chef, visited the restaurant only few times in the last half year. The hype was definitely missing and it seemed to me that the faces of the abandoned waiting crew conveyed some angst. Is the peak of the glorious days over or is it just the end-of-August seasonal NYC emptiness? I hope the second guess is correct.
Overall an excellent (expensive) dinner despite the absence of RDS.