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Monday, March 14, 2011

Pizza & Bubbly at the Marriott Marquis and Le Poisson Rouge

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Saturday evening I was feeling a tad down and wanted to go somewhere where I could feel like I was on top of the world. I went to the Marriott Marquis hotel, in Times Square.

I'd passed through their eighth floor lounge once or twice and remembered that it had a decent view above Times Square. Exiting the elevator, I headed east toward "Broadway Lounge" where I scoped out and found a suitable seat overlooking the pedestrians and traffic below. A server approached my table promptly and asked if I'd like to start off with a drink to which I replied, "a glass of Perrier-Jouët." ($18) I wanted some real champagne!

The Perrier was satisfyingly cold and crisp and after browsing the menu, I decided upon four cheese pizza. (my server confirmed that the crust is made fresh, not pre-made) The $16 rectangular pizza arrived on a long wooden charcuterie board and was pre-sliced into several portions. The crust was thin, as my server had said it would be, but perhaps a little too thin; portions of the crust were reminiscent of matzah bread. As for the toppings, they were tasty enough... simple to the point of being foolproof.

I'd also like to add that my server, who was very attentive and (seemed) genuine, was almost as memorable as the champagne.

Sunday night I went to see David perform with Signal music ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge in a double performance show. Le Poisson's viewing area consists of standing room and tables--at which there is a two item minimum. Being a long day at the restaurant, I opted for a table. From the wine list, I selected a glass of Stellina Di Notte prosecco. ($11)

LPR's house sparkler

Being that the show had already begun and everyone was trying to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible, I took my first sip of prosecco without my usual inspections which I had learned in wine class. (a swirl, smell and a taste--slurp some air over it...) Perhaps it was because I had not been able to focus on the attributes of the prosecco as much as I would have liked to, but I found the prosecco to be absolutely delicious--the closest comparison to champagne I've ever had with a sparkler.

Soon thereafter, my server returned to take my food order. I opted for the truffle oil and goat cheese pizza. ($16) My server pointed out that the pizza also comes with mushrooms and caramelized onions, which I was glad she did; I thought the listings were options. The pizza arrived while I was enjoying my second glass of prosecco and I was surprised to see it topped with a salad. Nonetheless, like the mushrooms and onions, it was a welcome addition.

The pizza was really quite lovely and combined with the champagne-like prosecco, was a winning meal. The only drawback with my "entrée" was that the crust was a bit too thin and crunchy and didn't seem "made to order." However, as far as venue dining goes, Le Poisson Rouge is certainly a hands-down winner.

On my last visit to "LPR," I enjoyed a Caesar salad with homemade dressing, lemon confit, parmesan tuile and white anchovies (the last ingredient, my own choice) which was quite good. And adding to the eerie elegance at LPR is the forever-blue lighting which casts a fluorescent glow, making for a truly other-wordly dining experience!

blue fish at Le Poisson Rouge
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