Had two very different but wonderful meals this weekend. First Saturday at Union Square Cafe. We took my mom there for a birthday lunch during the snowstorm. I've never seen Union Square look prettier than when it was whitewashed with snow. It was the winter wonderland I've been wishing for since moving here five years ago. The cafe was much quiter than I expected, due to the storm I'm sure as most stores were closed in the area. The staff however couldn't have been nicer.
The meal was outstanding. The only thing I was unimpressed with was the garlic potato chips which weren't very garlicky. I started with a squash risotto which was silky smooth and thick with buttery goodness. The squash added a wonderful sweet note that complemented the richness and was a good way to warm up on a snowy day. Then I NEVER order hamburgers, in fact it's been as long as I've seen a snowstorm as I've ordered a burger but I've heard it's one of the best in town. It came cooked precisely to order (medium-well) and I exchanged the fries for a pile of delicious cumin scented cabbage slaw. Was it ever worth the wait to enjoy the best burger I've had ever on a poppy-seed covered, egg glazed, puffy roll it was heavenly. The deserts ordered were the Banana/MAcadamia brittle tart with honey vanilla ice cream and an apple bread pudding with I believe maple ice cream. The tart was to die for, I will be dreaming of this for years to come. The bread pudding, was ok but suffered an inferiority complex compared to the tart. The waitstaff signed a happy birthday wish on a plate full of cookies and biscotti for my mom and it was the perfect end to a perfect meal.
The Sweet N Tart cafe was our New Year's eve choice and it was perfect as well. Nine of us ate through an endless assault of trays that were all consistenty good. I had the pleasure of ordering for everyone as the crowd was severely confused by the no fewer than four separate menus. For dim sum we had, amongst many other things, shrimp and asparagus dumplings, sauteed turnip cakes, papaya salad, and a musn't miss bowl of shrimp and blackbean dumpling soup. The main course highlights were a pond-fish and ginger congee, chopped sparribs breaded with garlic and hot pepper, and szechuan bean curd, eggplant, and chopped chicken. Deserts were mostly bubble teas(which I found sub-par due to gritty pearls and lack of adequate sweetener. I still have not found tea that compares to that of Vancouver here in NY. The ice-cream float and red-bean ice cream sundae were both very good though. All told with over twenty various dishes and soft drinks ordered it was a paltry $20 pp even with tax and tip. Quite a feast, I'd recommend it to anyone looking to bring a large group out for a diverse meal.