Dish

1100 O St. Lincoln, NE 68508 • (402) 475-9475 • dishdowntown.com

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Just blocks from the Cornhuskers’ campus, which basically makes up 25% of Lincoln, you will find a surprisingly sophisticated restaurant. Granted the bar out here is about as low as city’s skyline. And although Dish boasts a horribly dated 80’s décor (sadly not due to theme or sardonic intent) I found myself liking the place.

The largest contribution to the likeage of which I speak came very early on in the form of an Ultimate Cornbread. I guess that’s to be expected in corn country. Served up as crispy cubes of sweet corn and jalapeno, topped with candy bacon. It might just be the greatest thing Lincoln has ever done, including winning the National Title. So wonderfully crusty on the outside and moist on the inside, with spicy and sweet contrasts, I could’ve just done two plates of these and called it a day.

The other appetizer on the table, the scallop bruschetta, was also pretty good, but after tasting that cornbread I decided to focus my efforts elsewhere. That said, it’s much less interesting than it sounds. Basically a thinly sliced disk of scallop placed over a crostini.

Come entrée time, I kinda had my sights missile-locked on something beef related. After all, it’s also cattle county. But strangely enough, the majority of the menu is actually seafood, which is bold for a land-locked state. Regardless, I stayed on target and went with the one meat dish, the filet, which was definitely good, but a bit heavy on the garlic. Granted, when you cut it with the jalapeno drizzle on plate, the result was quite tasty.

The only true misses for me, apart from décor, came during dessert where Dish went a dismal 1 for 4. The flourless chocolate cake with mint ice cream tasted no better than something you might expect to be served in a small town diner guilty of overreaching its capabilities. And the grilled peach trifle wasn’t much better. The truffle trio, however, was a step in the right direction, but that was probably more a dimension of comparative goodness, tasting like a notch above a Whitman’s Sampler.

But the best of the four came as a bit of a shock to be honest. The ginger gelato was creamy and refreshing and palate cleansing, which was much appreciated after three sub par desserts that I only wish I could have also cleansed from my waistline.

3 teeth

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Tarallucci e Vino

15 E 18th St. New York, NY 10003 • (212) 228-5400 • taralluccievino.net/the-restaurant

 20100224Tarallucci E Vino Sandwich

Flying under the radar of many a foodie lurks this surprisingly good Italian chameleon (not stallion). Great sandwiches. Great brunch. Terrific desserts. And, supposedly one of the best cups of coffee in the city. I’m not a coffee drinker, but my wife is and so are my friends, and I trust them… at least when it comes to coffee. The hot chocolate is pretty spectacular too.

Some lunch highlights to consider are the octopus salad starter. So tender and light you’d have to be an octoracist not to like it. I also recommend the grilled zucchini panini, but have them add proscuitto. And to finish, get the mini flourless chocolate cake. (aka Belgian brownie, aka awesome).

On the breakfasty side of things, the Nutella and banana french toast is worth a shout. As are most of the pastries.

So, if you’re looking for a nice casual bite to eat around Union Sq. and the Coffee Shop is packed and you’re not in the mood for Republic, head over here. It’s better anyways.

4 teeth

 

15 East

15 E 15th St. New York, NY 10003 • (212) 647-0015 • 15eastrestaurant.com

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This is a hard one for me because I definitely enjoyed my meal, but there were also way too many missteps to overlook.

My first nit is the poached octopus. This was a touch slimy and much more than a touch flavorless. I have had better octopus at over two dozen places in the city. It doesn’t even deserve mention it’s so blah. But because it’s a review I’m mentioning it anyway. As Alanis would say “Isn’t it ironic?”

Another underwhelming app was the array of seaweed. It literally did nothing for me- wait, that’s a lie. It was pretty to look at.

But then came the omakase and oh my gosse was it good! The highlights being the wild yellowtail (epic)  and the scallop (sweet Jesus). The other pieces were good too, but not at the same level. That said, as wonderfully fresh as this fish was, I actually think Azuma in Harstdale, Westchester has fresher, better omakase for half the price. And yes, you can quote me on that.

And the flourless chocolate cake for dessert was a very solid good.

Service was a tad slow and sloppy- literally. Our waiter dropped the cap to our sake on the floor. And I watched as another server cleared a table, dripping yuzu sauce from one end of the dining room all the way to the other.

Décor is nice. But I had already been here in its former life as Tocqueville, so I was familiar with the sliver shaped room.

All in all, a good lunch, but I wouldn’t rush back.

3 teeth