Good eating weekend. Fri. nite was yet another belated b-day dinner (going on 6 months now) at Azure in the Lenox Hotel. Unfortunately, timing didn't allow for the planned pre-dinner drink at Saint which I was curious about (read the reviews on Citysearch for a laugh). The dining room is very pleasant, altho I don't see that much of a change from Anago. Service was great, the waiter was nice and really seemed to know his wine and my wine snob brother deferred to him. They came by with a choice of three breads served w/ butter or a spinach type spread. Gnocchi w/ caramelized onions, porcini mushrooms and some veal was amazing, not heavy at all, and the "really good lobster soup" lived up to its name. I got sea dabs for an entree, very much like sole so it was mild but nice with a crab topping, pureed potato and little carrots. Duck came med. rare as requested, just breast I think. My dessert wasn't great, pineapple upside down cake w/ fried ice cream and caramelized banana. The banana was good but I didn't like the cake and the coating on the ice cream was hard as a rock. The sampler of four little creme brulees was very good tho. I think I saw that it was $207 w/ tax and tip, 3 courses each, 1/2 bottle of white, a glass of red plus two martinis to start. While the dining room was a little slow, City Bar across the hall was hopping.
Got tea at the Ritz for my first time, very nice but I think I like the Bristol better. An amazing tiny crab or lobster salad roll was a treat. Even the cucumber sandwich was great. A huge array on the sweet tray, from scones to a little 3 layer choc.espresso torte, lemon tart, choc. covered strawberry, etc. The maitre d' was really sweet. $25 with no glass of champagne.
Finally got to Wang's to find that the leek/veg. dumplings are as great as everyone says. Will they pan fry those for you or do they only come steamed? I asked her to suggest specialties but she just pointed out the cold side dishes pretty much and said they had an asparagus/shrimp special which we got. The asparagus was good but the dish was pretty mild and I'm not a fan of those little shrimp. The salt and pepper squid were tasty but the breading seemed a little excessive and the squid kind of got lost. Can't complain for $25 for 2.