Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dinner Out

Not to join the hordes of people who blog about restaurants in New York...(as I proceed to do so!)....

After a lovely, relaxing time popping into shops here in Park Slope, we did indeed head over to the 12th Street Bar and Grill, which is a delightfully mere 2 blocks from our house (!). We were fairly early for dinner--it might have been 6:15, so we had our choice of seats, although by the time we were ready to leave people were having to wait for tables.

First of all, we were both pleased that with all our restrictions, we each still had multiple choices on the menu. I ordered pecan-encrusted catfish, accompanied by sauteed chard and a sweet potato mash; Jenny went the salad-appetizer route with an arugula, endive, pecan, and grape salad and a crabcake with cilantro aioli and guacamole. She had a glass of a sparkling white (not sure the name--I didn't look at the wine list, as I can't have any right now anyway).

The salad was a winner. Dressed with lemon juice and oil, it was nicely tart. The arugula definitely shouted "February!," but it was ok enough. The pecans were nicely roasted. Wine was tasty, but less to my taste than a nice prosecco.

Entrees: I was somewhat disappointed with my catfish. The pecan crust had been let to absorb a great deal of its oil, so although tasty it was a lot heavier and greasier than it needed to be. The sweet potato mash was wonderfully flavored, though, with an edge to it that might have been lemon zest, and it also wasn't completely pureed--a nice touch, as it avoided the gloopiness that sweet potatoes are prone to...something I don't mind in a dessert but would prefer to avoid in a savory dish. The chard fit nicely. The presentation was fine at one stage, though the fella who brought it out to me didn't take care, and jostled it so that the beurre blanc sauce looked like an accident. Oh, well. I'm less into presentation than some folks, so I wasn't that put off, but it was an odd anomaly in otherwise very good service.

Jenny's crabcake looked wonderful, and as though it had not fallen victim to the same oil-laden problem that compromised my catfish. She ate it with gusto--and perhaps will add her comments about it here later!

We were too full for dessert, so we trundled the 2 blocks home, where she read the book about NYC rats (fascinating stuff!) and I did some work.

At the restaurant, though, we did make some pretty elaborate food plans for Wednesday night--we decided to cook for ourselves rather than joining the restaurant-going fray. I'll keep y'all posted on those plans as they develop....


Mike said...

One thought for Wednesday night (the Valentine's Day tradition of my people, starting this year): Take two big apples and scoop out the cores to make little bowls out of the fruit. Stuff them with raisins, chopped dates and crystallized ginger that have been soaking in whiskey and spices since Monday. Cover the hole at the top of each apple with a pat of butter. Sit them in an iron skillet (or a baking pan, but I've been on an iron skillet kick lately) with about an inch of water in it and bake at 400, if I'm not mistaken, for about an hour.

Or... I suppose you could wrap the whole stuffed apple in pie crust and bake it on a sheet.

T said...

That sounds tasty...though I'm afraid we're going for the no-food-value option on our dessert :-) That's the one thing we're not going to cook ourselves, but will instead buy a flourless chocolate cake. I'll keep that in mind for another time, though!

The savory dishes will involve another arugula salad (but this will be with roasted sweet potatoes and parsnip), and some sort of stuffed fish--not sure what we'll stuff with what, but I think mushrooms will be involved.

Mike said...

I can't argue with flourless chocokate cake.

(I tried -- I just can't.)