Restaurant Recap

Part warm, part wet, part wonderful- this all together wacky-weather week clearly influenced some rather random restaurant choices.

Bye bye bikini body! Enjoy the feedback at my X(L)pense…

The Virgin: Vandaag

New Age- New Amsterdam. The Dutch have returned to conquer NYC with this low key lower east side establishment. With a creative cocktail list, the bar is busy and buzzing with talk over such “rarities” as artichoke liquor.

Carrot Parsnip Cake

Get a round of cool citrus Radlers and cheese toast to start.

The Radler- the ultimate bier cocktail!

The dinner menu is just as earthy and seasonal as the cocktails- surprising and sophisticated flavor pairings show up in each dish-worth the sojourn to 2nd Ave is the Grilled Romaine with Herring Vinaigrette and Pork and Pistachio crumble. It just screams “fresh off the farm” with just enough smoke and salt.

And don’t skip dessert! The Carrot Parsnip Cake is heavenly!

Vandaag, 103 2nd Avenue, (212) 253 0470,

The Vintage: Le Cirque
Vinyl is making a comeback. A revived setting and a retro menu pair amazingly well in this glittering midtown mecca. Le Cirque is attracting both old and new New York faces: Martha Stewart was dinning a few tables away from us, alongside a large 20 somethings birthday.
This is a contemporary chic cirque with all the comforts of it’s classic cuisine. I think it makes everyone miss the 80s. And I mean that in the best way.
Standouts: Wild Burgundy Escargot with Gruyere Gnocchi. Paupiettes of Black Cod (the nouvelle cuisine classic from the 80s done to Prince-ly perfection), Cassoulet. Crepes Suzette.
Excellent service. 
Midnight in midtown never looked this good.

Le Cirque, One Beacon Court, 151 East 58th Street, (212) 644 0202,

The (re) Visited: Fishtail

David Burke’s Upper East Side fish-dom has a somewhat confusing curb appeal. Asian cuisine? Modern American? I don’t think Burke himself is quite sure. When you enter the ground level bar you’ll find a tight casual seating area. Exposed wood beams and digital fish tanks all feel forced: money was clearly spent, but created a Long John Silver’s aesthetic.

However, push through the all you can eat seafood bar, and up the stairs. The main dinning room is warm and chic: coral walls, graphic prints, and modern fixtures- all the bright and fun you would expect from the old-school Burke.

The food is Asian. The food is American. Modern, but somehow mainstream-they should loose the downstairs, save the rent, save the potential.

Arctic Char with Lotus Crisps, Asparagus & Morels

Try: Arctic Char with Lotus Chips (above), Dover Sole “a la Burke”and (if in season), Goat Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.

Fishtail by David Burke, 135 East 62nd Street, (212) 754-1300,

The Verdict: two stand-outs and one stand-down.

Rest assured, I will be blogging from boot-y camp from now on.

Friday’s Central Park

Darcy Jones

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