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Monday, May 6, 2013

Dining Dilemma

fresh fare at Swine

THE good news is: I've discovered three very good places to eat at--either during lunch break, or post-work. The bad news: I can't decide which of the three I like best.

Swine's house made gravlax and Vermont
cheese with brandied cherries

Aside from their exceptional house made gravlax, Swine is open late (until 4 a. m. with their kitchen closing at 1) so it usually ends up (being just steps away from the restaurant) an ideal post-work hangout.

just across from Swine is The Quarter, with a terrific Tuscan kale salad

I'd say the only bad thing about Swine is that their menu is very, very light on greens (not that one should find that surprising at a restaurant named Swine). A quick solution to that dilemma is directly across the street at New American/Mediterranean restaurant, The Quarter. I've been going there for several weeks now and have become an avid fan of their effective use of sumac in dishes such as the grilled chicken sandwich and eggs Benedict.

The Quarter's eggs Benedict with sumac-dusted tomato and onion salad
and house-made ketchup

And last on this shortlist (only because it was my most recent finding) is April Bloomfield's The Spotted Pig.

roll mops and devils on horseback at
The Spotted Pig

For me, The Spotted Pig has--for long--been one of those New York restaurants that I'd always been meaning to check out, but had never gotten around to doing so. So last Monday, my good friend, Cynthia and I decided to meet there for some bar-side grub.

The Spotted Pig's chargrilled burger and shoestring fries

I'd been feeling more like brunch (for even though it was 8 p. m., it would be my first real meal of the day) and was considering the sweet pea soup with ham and lemon crème fraîche, followed by some simple greens. But after a bit of champagne (Gosset) and Cynthia's talk of the (supposedly) best burger in town, my appetite was soon whetted for something more decadent. After beginning with roll mops and devils on horseback (the only two dishes on the menu that neither Cynthia nor I knew anything about), we decided upon the chargrilled burger with roquefort cheese and shoestring fries.

our rare burger

With just enough roquefort and its pristine bun, the moist, succulent burger was quite possibly the best burger in the city! And while, originally, I was not interested in the shoestring fries, the paper-thin slices of fried garlic and leaves of rosemary soon won me over. (It was also the first time I'd had true shoestring fries.) While Ms. Bloomfield's burger is quite spectacular, I don't know if its $20 price tag would qualify it as a more-than-once-a-week treat. But after all, it is the West Village.
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