Plates

121 Myrtle Blvd. Larchmont, NY 10538(914) 834-1244 platesonthepark.com

26DINEWE1-popup

I know this won’t come as any great epiphany to most of you, but the restaurant industry is inherently a service-based industry, and the reason I feel the need to point this out is not because I worry that you might’ve forgotten it, it’s because I believe some of the restaurants have. My most recent case in point being Plates, where not only did our waiter seem like he didn’t know what he was doing, it also seemed like he wasn’t even entirely sure where he was.

But amateur service aside, the décor is nice, yet a touch simple, with nothing truly unique about it, in a standalone structure that has a slightly homey vibe to it, save the white walls.

The food itself is a bit of a mixed bag with a slight lean toward the positive. The positive-est being the mini-est, the bite-sized short rib tacos. But quite the bite they are. The other big plus of the night was the NY strip entrée, cooked medium rare, of course, and definitely sourced by a pro.

A notch below the highest of the highs, was a very good pork dish, that only missed on the woeful mistake of overcooking it. The preparation, however, was quite toothsome, served with bok choy, prune and vanilla to sweeten the deal and a caraway, garlic spaetzle to make things interesting, in a starchy kinda way.

In the middle of the road I’d put the tuna tartar served in the same old cylinder you’ve seen a thousand times, atop the same old cylinder of avocado that’s been served a billion times over since the 90’s. Along side the tuna I’d also put the amuse bouche of duck croquettes, which also failed to wow. As did the restaurant’s self-proclaimed area of expertise, smoking. Having heard that the bird is in fact the word, I chose the smoked duck legs and I don’t know what people are smoking, but the smoking here is not all that. Head up to Portchester and go to Q if you want to taste what I call smokin’ smoking.

But let’s not end things on a down note, shall we? After all, I did like Plates on the whole and a huge reason as to why is their wine list. Not very extensive mind you, but it’s more of a list of quality, not quantity, which is my preference 99 times out of 100. The only exception being when the small list happens to be so pricey that it backs you into a pricey corner. Not here though. The Chateauneuf du Pape was not only stellar, it was under a C note. And just enough to hand Plates three knives.

3 teeth

Hundred Acres

38 Macdougal St. New York, NY 10012(212) 475-7500hundredacresnyc.com

image

Such a great décor. Quaint and charming. You definitely don’t feel like you’re in the city. So high marks here.

Service was also pretty good both times. The two best things we had were both recommends by the waiter.  Which begs the question, what were the two best things we had? First was a special, so unfortunately that doesn’t do you much good. It was a fish stew in this incredible, spicy broth that was so good you didn’t just want to sop it up with bread, you wanted to gulp it down cereal bowl style.

The other, however, is a permanent fixture on their menu and something they are known for. And for good reason. The bread pudding dessert is redonkulous! And I am VERY hard on my bread puddings being that it’s my favorite dessert.

As for the rest of the meal, while it was nice to enjoy a few dishes from my past, like hushpuppies and catfish, they more or less fell into the “good, but not great bucket.” As did the steak, which was a tad too chewy, the gelato, the bread and the wine (minus the white pinot gris from the Russian River Valley, which comes by the glass).  Skip the Chateauneuf du Pape. Not to mention the Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. Both don’t add anything to the meal other than expense.

But all in all, a solid showing. Just not consistent enough to hit 4knives in my book. So for once, a very accurate Yelp rating, which is rare.

3 teeth

Flying Fish Café

Disneys Board Walk Orlando, FL32830 (407) 939-3463
 EncrustedSnapper

Not just the best restaurant in all of Disney, one of the best in Orlando. This place brings it in every single way. Nice décor. Great service. Great presentations. Fantastic food. If you truly want fine dining (yes, at Disney)- this is your place.

My only nits, and there aren’t many, were the wait, even though we had a reservation, and the fact that they sat us by the wait station (the third time in a row at a Disney restaurant- WTF?!?).

But beyond that, our waiter was a real pro. Quick. Spot on with his recommendations. Attentive to the kids. He literally made me forget about whatever I was bitching about before. Either that or it was the mussels app- WOW!!! So good. So fresh. And fresh is really the theme here- all of the fish is incredibly so, and impeccably prepared to order.

The salmon entrée was literally the best I’ve ever had. Such a complex layering of flavors and textures- including mustard, which admittedly I am a sucker for.

The tuna entrée my wife had was also quite good. The only miss, and by miss I mean “just okay,” certainly not bad, was the scallops and risotto. Skip it. It sounds better than it is, and it was our only stray from the waiter’s recos.

Wine was also a fantastic complement. We had the white Chateauneuf du Pape.

And for dessert, both the chocolate thing and the bread pudding were superb. But being that I am partial to bread pudding, I found myself gobbling it down like Jabba to a frog.

Now I know some of you might still be skeptical of a Disney restaurant being this excellent, but take it from a hardcore NYC foodie, this place is the real deal.

5 teeth