I refuse to link either menu that my friends and I found (one from MenuPages and one from the official website) for this restaurant since each differed from the other, and once we got to the restaurant, were completely different from our actual choices (bar a few selections that none of us opted for nor wanted).
A few weeks prior, we were looking for a brunch place and chanced upon this one. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to cancel Sunday brunch here ($25 prix fixe menu), but instead made dinner plans for last night. While we did make reservations a few weeks in advance, the place was not quite packed while we were there, but that was probably because of the threatening skies, darkening upon our arrival, signaling doom. We managed to make it through the entire meal without the skies opening up on us, though, thankfully.
None of the appetizers appealed particularly to us, so we opted to skip appetizers and head straight for the main courses. It didn’t help that half of our party was a good 20 minutes late, since by the time we were seated, I was starving. I attacked the bread “basket” (it was served in a flower pot, which I took a picture of and will post at the end of this entry, but this picture shows the bread in great detail) with much gusto; the bread was fantastic. There were at least three different kinds; one a flatbread similar to the bread served at Cosi, which was chewy and yummy, another a rosemary and some sort of nut bread, which was good, and a third “breadstick” looking type that tasted like a street vendor’s hot pretzel. Delicious. I was pleased because you can usually tell a lot about a place by how much effort and thought they put into their bread basket… This was not the first time (and definitely not the last) that the bread basket would lie to me.
The comments on these dishes were fairly negative..
Potato leek soup: “Oh, yuck. I forgot she said it was cold, and when I tasted it… ick.”
Garlic shrimp tapas: “It was okay, but it got really salty towards the end.” “That looks like what we had in Spain!” (We didn’t like it much in Spain, either.)
Jamaican jerk chicken: I asked if she liked it. She just shook her head no, then said, “My chicken wasn’t jerked. It was like, baked and didn’t taste right.”
Caribbean grilled shrimp [over salad of jicama, beets, mango, avocado]: Three of us ordered it.. “I wish I had more avocado.” “I hate beets.” “I hate peppers.” “I wish there was more dressing.” “Um, did you guys have any mango??”
We did order a side of fries, because the name was “Flower Pot of Fries” and we were all like, how cute is that going to be?! Since my salad didn’t fill me up, this was an excellent choice. They were also deliciously crispy and perfectly right for crunching and munching on. We devoured these… so good. Too bad it wasn’t a huge flower pot like our bread basket came in… that would have been awesome.
Of course, after such a blah meal, we were ready to leave, but our newly-rejoined-member-buddy declared that we should have dessert to at least give the place a fair shake. We grudgingly agreed, and ordered a few desserts whose names sounded promising; but for some reason, at this point the waitress decided to become a really poor server. We waited about 10 minutes for our desserts, while the wait for our food had not been terrible at all. I mean, the atmosphere was nice- outdoor seating, a view of Park Avenue, some nice tall buildings, and the weather wasn’t cold nor hot (though supremely humid, which is NY weather for you)- but I was just asking, “Um, are they freshly squishing the mangoes or something?! What in our desserts needed to actually be prepared and would take this long?” when, as though by magic, they appeared.
The mango mousse martini immediately caught our eyes. That was added to the list; our newly-rejoined girlfriend said “CHEESECAKE! CHEESECAKEEE!” and so that was added to the list. At the last minute, another girl said “Let’s get the dulce du leche sundae!!!” and for that, I thank her heartily and verily… because that was easily the most amazing thing I ate last night. I took one bite and was like “ohhhh yeahhhh, that’s the stuff right there.” I’m not even sure what was in it, though as we got towards the middle, I tasted small chunks of caramel which was AWESOME. It was so good, I wanted to eat more even though I’m currently not supposed to be eating dairy. Ah well, I ate large portions of it.
The cheesecake- I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake, although I’m slowly growing accustomed to it. I can’t eat too much of it because it’s so rich, so I had one bite with a strawberry and thought it was pretty good, though I am by no means an expert on cheesecake. Ask me tiramisu, I’ll tell you a thing or two; ask me cheesecake, I just say “lactose intolerant…”
Unfortunately, my choice, the mango mousse martini, did not appeal to me at all. I took a spoonful and was disappointed to see how goopy it was. To me, mousse is a softer/fluffier pudding; not a waterier pudding. It kind of slopped everywhere, which was really bothersome to me. The mango they’d used (if it was indeed fresh and made on premises) was slightly tart still, so I stopped eating it. I do note here, however, that two of the girls really liked this, so perhaps it was just my taste that didn’t like it. (I apologize for the crappy picture, I was really out of it yesterday- did you READ my review from yesterday, I was completely retarded- and I don’t know what I was taking a picture of… oops.)
Yvo says: Overpriced for what it is, though the fries are yummy and the desserts were pretty good. Of course, eating outdoors over Park Avenue may be worth it to you. I MIGHT go and try the brunch if I’m ever in the area- which I never will be, at the right time for brunch- so I say, this place is a pass unless you just happen to be walking by and in the mood to sit outside, people watch on Park Avenue, and enjoy the crazy weather while you eat. And if you really, genuinely don’t mind paying a bit more for no reason other than the “view” (you’re not really high up, you’re like half a floor up from the street). BTW, I’m told they charge 18% service regardless… and it took her forever from asking us if we wanted the check, to actually getting it.