Brasserie

100 E 53rd St. New York, NY 10022 •  (212) 751-4840

780_1543-11092-downloadansichten-Brasserie-New-York_Gastraum

Unfortunately you can’t eat décor, but if you could, this place would be delicious… and it would get a much higher rating. I mean just look at that picture, I don’t just want to eat there, I want to move in! That said, the food isn’t bad, it’s just more of an after thought comparatively. Instead, I recommend Casa Lever just down the street, offering an equally impressive ultra modern dining experience, but with better food and friendlier service.

As for the grub at Brasserie, I have eaten here for all three meal occasions and they are consistently sub-wow. More on par with solid hotel cuisine and that’s sort of how the menu reads, loaded with those hotel staples you know and love, like bagels and lox, eggs benny, a burger, crab cakes, etc… All very French dishes as you might expect from the name “Brasserie.” KIDDING! And this is exactly my point. They try to be too many things to too many people, like a hotel. But a hotel does it out of necessity. Plus, what’s especially bizarre about this menu decision is that they are located in midtown, amidst droves of hotel restaurants, so why in the hell they would serve up a bunch of me too’s is beyond me. Sure, Brasserie also has tons of truly French options as well, from steak frites to onion soup, to a croque madame, but none of them are outstanding either. All as middle of the road as the double line itself.

3 teeth

Mount Kisco Bagel Co.

480 E Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 •  (914) 241-0606
bagel

Definitely the best bagels in the area if you’re willing to endure the PAINFULLY slow service. And by “painful” I mean excruciating. For example, the the bagel in the picture above probably took about 15 minutes to slice in half. Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but this is not…

The first time I went there I was only second in line with four employees behind the counter, so I figured I’d be in and out in a jiffy. Well, that was because I was foolishly optimistic about the natural order or the space-time continuum, but time itself was no match for the depths of inefficiency that unfolded before my bewildered eyes.

I witnessed a woman literally take one slice of cheese out at a time, using only one hand at a time, to then walk back to the cutting board where the bagel sandwich was being prepared some ten feet away, then back again to the cheese bin where she then proceeded to pick up a second slice, again using only one hand, not bothering to grab even a single other ingredient in the process. Then, there were multiple trips to the back room by every one of them, each only doing one task at a time, and each only servicing one request from the previous order, top to bottom, at a time. Somewhere an assembly line must’ve been rolling over in its grave.

But at least the bagels were worth it. Also, to be fair, since I’ve been back, they must’ve gotten enough complaints to speed up their act, either that or I’m still waiting in line there and I’ve just acclimated to the time vortex.

3 teeth

Napa Farms Market

San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2 780 S Airport Blvd. San Francisco, CA 94128 • (650) 821-9312 • http://www.tastesonthefly.com/airports/sfo

NF_NS_4_0

I have to say, SFO knows how to stock an airport filled with options that feel more like an upscale shopping mall as opposed to a dying strip mall in the backwoods of Alabama.

Case in point, Napa Farms Market. Loaded with organic, all natural options, the place is like a treasure trove of traveling treats. And what I had was good. Just a bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers and cucumbers. Simple, I know, but outside of New York it’s a dish that has gone wrong more times than I can count.

Beyond that there’s a bakery and juices and wine and cheeses. I would happily go to this place even if it wasn’t in an airport. But because it is, and the competition is virtually non-existent, I gotta go four.

4 teethairport

Marc Forgione

 134 Reade St. New York, NY 10013 • (212) 941-9401 • marcforgione.com

chicken-under-brick

Umm… I’m gonna go with WOW! That pretty much sums it up. I loved just about every last drop of this restaurant and ate most of those drops as well.

To start, the décor is great. Just teetering on the edge of casual and beautiful. With an energy about it that hits you the moment you enter. Some may find it a bit loud, which it is, but that’s part of the fun- having you yell at each other about how good your food is.

As for service, our waitress was tremendous. Not in size, but in personality and attentiveness, without ego or plastic undertones. But not flawless either. For example, our cocktails came quite a bit late to the table, mid-way through our starters, but this was do to the bar losing the ticket. Now, normally you’d think this would be cause for docking a knife, and normally it would be. But is it the rarity of flawlessness that matters or is it how they handle the occasional hiccup? In this case, both the waitress and bartender came over to personally apologize for the mix up and delivered the drinks within a minute after. And yes, they were worth the wait. Especially the Summer Sangria with a richness almost as if there was Bourbon in there as opposed to wine.

But by now you’re probably getting pissed because I haven’t gotten to the food yet, so let’s get to it.

First up would be the amuse bouche, which is comprised of two dishes. A basic ceviche that is nothing to write home about, and a wonderfully explosive cream cheese puff pastry, that is worth flying home about.

Next came the buttery brioche-like bread which was so buttery and delcious, the fact that it came with butter was like gilding the lily. But as good as the bread is, I strongly recommend that you skip it in favor of the Texas Toast that comes with the Spicy Lobster which was so incredible it was as if my taste buds had died and gone to taste bud heaven. The lobster meat and bread in that sauce- OMFWow!

But not to be outdone, the tortellini is also very impressive, packing it’s own heat and a complexity to its sauce that unfolds in your mouth like a story.

Wait, I probably should’ve saved that description for the Halibut entrée, because that sauce was also quite the tour de force, minus the heat. But so rich and layered it was more like a meat dish.

Now here comes my one nit. And I blame myself for it. I had gone there fully prepared to get the highly acclaimed chicken, but our served talked me out of it and I went with a lamb special instead. Now, the lamb was far from bad, but at 48 bucks a plate, not bad IS bad. At that price I should’ve lept out of my chair and danced a jig after every bite.

The dancing, however, was not far behind, because the S’more dessert had me giddier than Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Just the presentation alone- well, of everything really, but with the “charred” marshmallow on a stick and the salted “chocolate bar”- if my tongue had hands it would applaud.

The other dessert was no slouch either. A deconstructed key lime, which had it been the only dessert on the table would be receiving all the adulation right now.

Such a treat. Finally an Iron Chef restaurant that lives up to its metal. A tribute to the fact that he is still the one actually in the kitchen. Saw him with my own eyes the last time I went.

Which brings me to another evening of incredibleness. The amuse bouche this second time was a touch less impressive. An homage to the NYC bagel and smoked fish. Good, but not grand. The graganelli with short ribs and black truffles, however, was mood-altering-good.

Also, this time I had the heavily revered under brick chicken and I have to say, while good for a roasted chicken, it’s still just a roasted chicken. I’ve had MANY a chicken dish that bests it. From One in Irvington, NY (RIP) to ABC Kitchen to Son of a Gun in LA. Don’t get wooed by the hype. There are so many better options on the menu.

And once again, come dessert, Marc knocked it out of the park. The best “pumpkin pie” I’ve ever had. Made in souffle form, served with a very complex and equally delicious sorbet made from bourbon, squash and three other things I can’t remember. If an afterlife exists, and they serve food, this must be what it tastes like.

5 teeth