Thursday, July 13, 2006

the summer storm currently over nyc

has yet to abate. which didn't keep me from sticking my head out the window for a cigarette because, really, how long are you supposed to wait? (it's been raining for hours)

Restaurant Week (which is actually two weeks twice - once in winter and once in summer) is officially over for me (at least until next week).
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday meant Gotham Bar and Grill, davidburke & donatella and Eleven Madison Park respectively.

at Gotham I had the Chilled Cauliflower Soup, the Mezze Rigatoni with Duck Sausage and the Gotham Chocolate Cake (like you really care, right? and yet I seem to be continuing). at davidburke the Lobster Bisque & Crispy Lobster Roll, the Chef Salad and the Carmelized Warm Apple Tart and at Eleven Madison Park the Grilled Watermelon with Tomatoes, Basil and Aged Balsamico, the Poached Organic Poularde with Asparagus and Black Truffles and a Chocolate-Banana Souffle with Peanut Butter Ganache and Roasted Banana Ice Cream.


all three restaurants were delightful in decor (I'm sure that's plagiarized from somewhere - hi Ann Coulter), splendid in service (to a point - read on) and yet the tendency of Restaurant Week menus appears to most often short change the entree portion (see: Tuesday's Chef Salad at davidburke & donatella - the other choices were a Cavatelli with Mushrooms and a Salmon dish. at Gotham the only other entree choice besides the Rigatoni was a Mahi Mahi), though Eleven Madison Park offered at least four choices in each of the three menu areas.

the best appetizer (with proper attention to the attending Crispy Lobster Roll at davidburke) was Eleven Madison Park's Grilled Watermelon.
best entree: Eleven Madison Park's Poached Organic Poularde (why am I eating chicken at a fancy restaurant? because my lunch partner ordered the Scallops first, the chicken was recommended and deservedly so)
best dessert: the Carmelized Warm Apple Tart at davidburke. while certainly no chocolate cake at Vong, for an apple tart it both rocked and rolled.

(yes, I'm well aware that I've written shorter short stories than this Restaurant Week recap - hang in there, baby! Friday's coming)

overall winner would be Eleven Madison. and it would've been a hands down, knockout landslide butt kicking (though the other two establishments are recommended) if the dessert had been served within even ten minutes of our entree plates being cleared. but it wasn't. and then it wasn't again. and finally I had to ask the server, So, um, we've got a dessert coming, right? to which he kind of chuckled and said something about Restaurant Week, as if the kitchen had just realized (by the way, we ordered the dessert at the very beginning of the meal).
I'm going to guess 25 minutes between entree and dessert, though 20 minutes would be a guaranteed slam dunk (not to be confused with WMDs).

Tuesday night was Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint (with The Imposters and The Crescent City Horns) at the Beacon Theater. and having seen the headlining pair at a very small gathering just a couple of months again, I wasn't all that anxious at revisiting the performance (it was wonderful, don't get me wrong - but much in the way of New Orleans gospel-flavored compositions and I've had enough for now, thank you very much) but I'm now quite glad I went.
it seems Mr. Toussaint had gone to the trouble of rearranging many of Mr. Costello's older tunes, so even if you'd heard them recently (and that's none too likely) you probably hadn't heard them like this. "Alison" (though the closing segue to "Tracks Of My Tears" was nice) didn't really gel but "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," "Watching the Detectives," "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea," "Pump It Up," "Tears Before Bedtime," "High Fidelity" and "Clubland" were each something special.

wanna t-shirt? $35

a hoodie (it's fricking July, man. are you kidding me?): $60

this week's pubs:
the Camera Obscura review was reprinted in Houston Press, a new review of the Johnny Cash DVD, The Man in Black: Live in Denmark 1971 appeared in Cleveland Scene, as did a preview of the Rob Zombie show and a new review of Big Sandy's Turntable Matinee appeared in New Times Broward-Palm Beach.
director's cuts (purely for the purpose of educational comparion/contrast essays) to follow at a later date.

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