LET'S GRAB SOME TAKE OUT FROM DEAN AND DELUCA (REPRISE)
I woke up feeling surprisingly good given the amount of booze I had
got through the previous day. It was a perfect NYC day: cold and
bright so a hot chocolate seemed in order. I'd heard about a newish
Jacques Torres place over on Hudson Street so after a brisk walk
westwards I got myself a Wicked Hot Chocolate. Not too sweet, slight
bitterness. Very, very good.
Onwards and upwards to midtown and an appointment with marathon man HS for a slap-up lunch at Le Bernadin one of only three *** Michelin
joints in the city. This place oozes class and unlike so many similar places in London really delivers on the food front. At lunch there’s a prix fixe for $57 which gets you three courses plus a couple of extra bits. A bit of a bargain for this level of cooking.
First off a big bowl of Salmon Pate and toast to munch while we looked at the menu. As HS was less than 48 hours from the Marathon he got some sort of non-alco cocktail while I had a large pour of a Kistler chard.
For our meal HS had the Crispy Braised Pork Belly and Baby Calamari Basquaise which came with a sauce of the squid ink followed by Olive Oil Poached Hawaiian Escolar (White Tuna) which came with Grapes and Sweet and Sour Saffron Shallot and Verjus-Lemon Grass Emulsion.
I went with Warm Sea Urchin Custard and Shiso Julienne followed by Baked Lobster, Braised Endives, Enoki and Black Trumpets and Bourbon-Black Pepper Sauce.
Not much to say about my dishes apart from the fact they passed muster and were bloody fantastic and I think HS enjoyed his too. Midway through our mains our Uncle popped in to see us and rather than leave him standing there talking to us they quickly made up a larger table so he could join us for pudding. Which were fine, but then it’s not really an important part of the meal for meal.
A nice touch is the basket of warm Madeleines and Financiers that comes with the coffee. We liked them so much they brought us seconds without having to ask for them. Indicative of the high level of service that we enjoyed.
Lunch over, HS went off to meet some his new Marathon chums and me and my Uncle went up to the Mandarin Oriental lobby to ooh and aah of the tremendous park views.
Our dinner that night had been cancelled so HS schlepped down to my hotel so we could find somewhere local. We had originally planned to have some burger action on Saturday lunchtime but most steakhouses are closed at this time so we went to a local place called BLT Burger – another in the Tourondel empire - which had opened the previous week.
Even though it was early evening the small joint was jumping when we arrived. The wait was 30 minutes so we put our name down and had a drink at the bar. The place must have had some seriously good reviews because by the time we were seated the queue was out of the door. The customers were mostly young and presumably because of this the music was racked up to ear-splitting levels. Not nice.
To ameliorate the situation I went for a DM which was not great and HS went for a Peanut Butter vanilla ice cream milkshake which was great if you like Reese’s (I do) and probably had about 3000 calories.
There was a pretty long wait before we got our burgers. We both went for the BLT burger which consisted of two black angus beef patties, apple wood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and green peppercorn sauce. Forgetting about US portion sizes we also got some sides of French fries, Sweet Potato fries, Vidalia Onion rings and Coleslaw (phew). The burgers were good. Cooked to order (the colour of the little plastic cow indicates doneness) I found them nicely meaty. Apparently they contain a mix of Sirloin, Short Rib, Chuck and Brisket which probably explains it. I liked the bun as well. Of the sides the Sweet Potato fries and Onion rings were pretty good. The plain fries were tasteless. We were too full to have a sweet.
A good place for a burger then but I don’t understand why anyone would queue more than 30 minutes for it (also see Shake Shack). It is, after all, only a burger.