Thanks to all who helped to reaffirm or redirect our choices. Unseasonably warm and dry and Holiday spirit abounded . We try to get to NYC from BOS every quarter for theater and food. We did 3 plays in 2 days and ate very well all 4 days we were in the City. Most meals planned. A couple standins.
Kajitsu. What a lovely lunch surprise. Salad tofu broth and the most exquisite tempura. Would have been happy with just the tempura. Shaved salt? Really how do they do that? Spare quiet room Excellent service until the room started to fill With one server and one buser we had to cancel dessert due to matinee tickets. But totally satisfied as a serious carnivore with a vegan lunch.
Gramercy Tavern this was a last minute late reservation. We had confirmed at Awadh and they called early evening to cancel us! Asked if we would come early but the point was after theater dining Anyhow the Holiday festivities were in full swing at GT which thanks to Opentable welcomed us at 10:30. We had 2 course and i started with fall salad of kale, squash and pumpkin seeds. Great flavor but awfully chewy...sometimes salads just hit me that way. Then had chicken and sausage which was a perfect portion for the hour we were dining. And great favors. Number 2 on my hit parade of chicken preps over the weekend. Impeccable service. Friendly but polished anticipating our needs but not hovering.
Piora. This turned out to be a big disappointment. Nice room garden view lovely. Server starts with pretension. Just the intro and his " and have we dined with us before" soured me and is just plain silly. Followed by a lot of " have we made choices" and more "we" so that I began to think he was going to pull up a chair. Started with market vegetables which I loved. Very fresh and dressed perfectly. Then ordered ( wait wait don't tell me ) chicken. About which I remember nothing. The annoyance began initially when we ordered a bottle of wine. Our server disappeared. And I mean disappeared until we were nearly done with appetizers. Had to flag another server down to ask about wine. Our server finally returned to advise he couldn't locate our choice. It wasn't like we wanted to marry the bottle and would gladly have made a substitute choice so we could enjoy with apps and not have a full bottle for the mains. He seemed annoyed that I was annoyed and I think we just agreed not to like each other at all. WE didn't get along. Food not that memorable for me or husband so likely not to return.
Carbone. Lunch was great fun. Loved the shtick as they can pull it off in contrast to a joint like Scadela Felini which I found to be a cartoon and just bad food. With a combo of Holiday songs and Frank Sinatra playing somewhat loudly in the background and my waiter successfully crooning along I enjoyed the best sidecar no rim of the trip. And I enjoyed them everywhere we ate that had a full bar. It was delicious , husband arrived a bit late but I was made to feel totally welcomed and relaxed. The antipasto with warm mozzarella was a very nice surprise. I started with the baked clams. Oh my. 9 sweet things with 3 preps. Casino, oreganata ( ?sp) and something just a bit too fishy for me with roe. Nevertheless they disappeared. Then the rigatoni with vodka sauce. A friend told me she moaned when she ate that and happily so did I. It was marvelous and I would go back again and again just for that rigatoni.
Batard. Long awaited and worth the wait. Lovely room. Excellent service. Allowed us to dine in quite a leisurely fashion. Haven't been there since it was Montrachet which I loved and this to me is a wonderful reincarnation. Started with cauliflower soup with charred onion and thyme. Some of my favorite food groups. Fantastic. Moved on to veal tenderloin medium rare wrapped in pastry with a perfect deep veal sauce. Totally satisfied. Our only misstep was ordering a 2010 Gevry Chambertin that was pricey ( 140ish). It had no Nose. It had no taste . It was an empty suit of a bottle. Tried to have discussion with sommelier not to refuse it as there was nothing wrong, just nothing going on. He seemed uncomfortable so I dropped what was just intended to be a discussion about how sometimes you just can't tell a wine by its label. Anyhow will surely be on the repeat list.
I've saved the best for last. The most enjoyable NYC meal in a very long time with many heavy weight contenders, was to be had at The Simone. Everything just clicked. The room was lovely. Tina's welcome warm and genuine. The service made us feel very special. And oh the food! I started with the twice baked goat cheese soufflé served with a small perfectly dressed side salad. Rich rich and wonderful. I followed with the roast chicken crisp skin with rich sauce served over a fricassee of mushrooms , touch of pancetta and it was heaven. Chocolate pot du creme shared for dessert. I was transported to Paris during this meal. It is a must go back for us. We were reminded of how we use to feel about Cello on UES.
Note that we had a decent to really good bottle of wine with every meal (50-140 range). Husband had salad starter and fish main without fail. We know who the heart healthy one Is and his favorite dish was the octopus pastrami at Batard.
One last ugh...for logistical reasons we had a light lunch bite at the lounge of Asiate Columbus Circle prior to returning to the airport on Tuesday. Vile...chicken club was a dried out hockey puck of hard long ago cooked chicken sitting on soggy toast with a sadly drooped piece of lettuce and a pink tomato. Would have planned better and gone to Red Farm.
Well that's it. Can't wait til February theater weekend ...thanks for all the suggestions.