Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bar Americain Lunch 12-16-2009




Location: 152 W. 52nd St.
Time: 1pm
People: FA, AP and myself

Feelings: I watch Bobby Flay on Food Network almost daily, and I always thought it would be great to visit one of his restaurants. When I found out I was going to Bar Americain with my friends, I was surely excited. This was something I looked forward to for a long time.

The restaurant was appropriately packed with a business holiday lunch crowd. The service remained stellar, and they made us feel like we were the only customers. All the dishes were beautifully plated, and I had a wonderful time taking all the pictures while chatting with my friends.

We started with Gala apple salad, which was a refreshing and great way to start. The tangy-sweet flavor of pomegranate and apples along with the crispy texture of the field greens were perfectly complimentary. AP had gold corn Johnny cakes and barbecued pulled pork with cranberry butter. I had a bite of the corn Johnny cake, which was buttery and fluffy. According to AP, it had layers of flavors, and he was not sure it was going to work all together; but in the end, it did fabulously.

For the main course, I had shrimp and grits since that was pretty much the only thing on the menu I could eat (unless I ordered more salad..). Unfortunately it was overly salty, but the shrimp was perfectly cooked. The portion was perfect, so the saltiness did not bother me too badly, except a few hours later my fingers got a little puffy.

FA's hot salmon salad looked amazing and appeared to be more of a deconstructed salmon salad with a piece of salmon, quinoa and wild mushrooms. But unfortunately it was not hot salmon as the menu stated but was indeed cold salmon. There is something off putting about eating cold salmon when you aren't expecting it. We continued to wonder if this was intentional or an execution mistake.

AP ordered Wednesday's "plate of the day," filet mignon sandwich. I'm not sure this should have been a featured dish. The meat was dry, and the spices did not go all that well together. The concept of the dish was interesting, but it was not executed as well as expected. The side of the french fries that came with his dish was very salty, so we left most of them. It is quite unfortunate since they were such wonderfully cooked french fries... I almost wanted to wipe the salt with my napkin and eat the rest.

Our dessert, crepe with hazelnut cream and butter sauce, was such a memorable dish. I felt the crepe was a bit too thick and overcooked, but the hazelnut and butter sauce were just heavenly. You would think butter and hazelnut together would be overbearing, but the butter sauce had citrus flavor, which gave the dish a bit of 'zaz.

I usually enjoy more subtle, delicate flavors, but I appreciate Bobby Flay's innovative ideas and use of different spices. I can understand why he's the leading contender of New American cuisine. It was fun going through the menu and figuring out what was in every bite. His food is fun and sophisticated at the same time, which makes it perfect for business lunch. I am slightly disappointed by the execution of the dishes, but in the end, it was an enjoyable meal.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm truly bothered by the overuse of salt at many restaurants these days. What's up with that? It makes things inedible.

Gar said...

Ugh. I get so despired when the dish get oversalted. That's one thing I'm always afraid of when I dine out, yet I always get wierd looks when I ask for sauce on the side. There is a reason for this behavior...

Yosh O. said...

Very true. I feel that many restaurants are trying to disguise the poor quality ingredients with salt. They are trying to cut cost, perhaps.