So I know y’all probably think all I talk about is food, but the thing is I photograph WAY more food than I ever end up blogging about. Mostly because I get too lazy to write something and find it vastly more entertaining to just reblog someecards. And even then I sometimes get too lazy. I’ve been holding on to this golden one since… well, since Linsanity started. Does he even still play any more?
Anyway, I’m getting off track. The point is, my foodie pictures just still there, accumulating space on my iPhone and camera. So my NEWEST plan (let’s be real – these plans of mine typically last all of 2 weeks max) is to have something like “a restaurant a week” blog post, just to start cleaning out my pictures. Cause as dorky and fatty and narcissistic as it is, I sometimes reread my food posts months or even years and think to myself, “mmm that was a good meal!”
So first up in my new “A Restaurant A Week” series (there’s got to be a better name for this… suggestions are welcome!) is Union Square Café, owned by Danny Meyer of Gramercy Tavern fame.
As I think I’ve mentioned before, my dad comes up to NYC once a year to treat me to a whirlwind weekend of Broadway plays and fine dining. So last Sunday night we trekked down to Union Square for our final dinner of his 2012 trip.
We ordered a
few okay a lot of appetizers for the table including…
Iced Oysters on the Half Shell
Crispy Pig’s Ear served with a Tarragon Mustard
Salt and Vinegar Shishito Peppers
Fried Calamari with Spicy Anchovy Mayonnaise
and a Summer Squash Salad with Walnuts, Ricotta Salata, and Lemon-Pepper Citronette
Moving on to the dinner entree’s there was…
Veal Chop, which is the special for Sundays
Honey-Balsamic Glazed Pork Shoulder with Ramp Polenta and Spring Slaw
Crispy Soft-Shell Crab with Beet and Cucumber Salad and Chilled Crustacean Cream
and Grilled Lamb Chops Scotta Dita with Wilted Insalata Tricolore and Potato-Gruyere Gratin.
One thing that’s really great about these nice dinners out (though bad for the future of my wallet) is getting to experience some of the less traditional foods out there prepared by top notch chefs, because they sure know how to make EVERYTHING taste good. For example, I never understood why anyone would like uni (sea urchin). I tried it once in high school and had to spit it out and gulp down two glasses of water to wash out my mouth, it tasted absolutely horrible. Then I had it at Le Bernardin about 2-3 years ago and realized I just never had good uni. Now I’m obsessed with it. So it was sort of a shame to find out how good it really is because… gulp… EXPENSIVE!
My find this year was the soft-shell crab. I know, this isn’t super strange (as in it’s found in a lot of places) but I ‘ve tried it a bunch of times and never liked it. But Saturday night at Nougatine (that’ll be for another A Restaurant A Week post) it was ordered as one of the group appetizers and I loved it. I loved it so much that the soft-shell crab dish pictured above, that one was mine.
In summary, the food was great. My personal favorite was the crispy pig’s ear. And as a previous raw oyster-poisonee I am happy to report that their oysters are just lovely! And for dessert they brought a free key lime pie slice to us just because we were a fun food-loving table.
Before I finished up I just wanted to add a note about the service. It was excellent. Our waitress was so sweet and was very efficient even though she found time to tell us a story about a former Union Square Café employee who followed another former employee all the way to Honolulu where they now are in love and making a life for themselves, him in the kitchens of some upscale restaurant and she as a teacher. And she was also the one to grant us a free key lime pie slice!
The only negatives (and they were pretty minor) were 1) I probably enjoyed food here the least out of our three nights out. Which sounds bad because I really really liked it, but someone had to take third place. And 2) there were weird acoustics in the room that make it sound like the girl who was sitting about 5 tables away was speaking into a microphone. I kept turning around to see if she was shouting, but she wasn’t speaking any louder than anyone else in the room. And I couldn’t really hear what anyone else in the entire restaurant was saying. So I guess it was just a weird effect of where we were sitting and the walls and ceilings… I guess.
So on the HawaiiGurlInCT ranking scale I give it