Last week, my parents invited the whole family out to dinner to celebrate CT moving in with me. I was surprised when they said we were going to a place in Hell’s Kitchen as they usually try to stick to somewhere closer to Murray Hill. They said that my Dad’s cousin recommended Maria’s Mont Blanc which specializes in Swiss food. I was quite intrigued since I had gone to Switzerland a couple summers ago on a family vacation and had a great time with plenty of delicious food throughout the trip.
They offer a nice $29 prix fixe menu with a couple choices of appetizers, mains, and desserts. All of us went this route although I thought about getting one of their fondues or raclette for two. We actually had fondue and raclette in the medieval town of Gruyères when we were there. I had never eaten so much cheese before in my life.
CT started with the mussels with herbed butter, shallots and butter. This was actually the favorite of the table as almost everyone ordered it. Everyone was raving about the broth. I had taste and thought it was quite good, but nothing compared to Jubilee.
CT says: I initially planned on getting the herring and sour cream, but somebody’s turned up nose, along with everyone else ordering the mussels, made me change my mind at the last minute. I never used to be a big fan of mussels, not because I didn’t like them, I just didn’t grow up eating them. These were some great mussels though! They were cooked to perfection, soft and tender – not chewy at all. And the broth was very rich and flavorful – the heavy hand of butter was present but not greasy. I definitely used an extra piece of bread to sop up the broth (and maybe is drank a few spoonfuls… it was that good!)
I started with the herring and sour cream. As CT mentioned she was going to order this, but then faked me out and ordered the mussels at the last minute. I didn’t want to order the same thing so I got the herring. It was surprisingly good and a huge portion with a ton of different items on the plate. In addition to the herring, there were beets, potato salad, cole slaw, cucumber salad, and some cornichons. Quite the hefty appetizer. The herring was quite meaty, but not too fishy from being pickled. The sour cream and capers brought a nice creaminess and saltiness, respectively.
CT says: I taste a couple bites and was a little bit jealous that I didn’t order it. But I just drank another spoon of my buttery broth and the little green monster disappeared.
Everyone also got a salad as part of the prix fixe. It was pretty standard, as expected from a plain salad.
CT ordered the “Veal Dumpling a la Viennese” for her main course. This was basically a giant meatball with mushroom sauce. On the right is her piece of the potato rösti that was served for the table.
CT says: The dumpling was extremely tender and juicy, which was amplified by the mushroom sauce. I didn’t know what “a la Viennese” meant, but I like mushrooms so I was happy with the end result. Less than half way through this, however, I realized I was quickly getting full (damn that extra piece of bread I had with my mussels). Still, I kept eating… combined the mushroom sauce on the crispy shredded potato… it was really very delicious.
Everyone also got a small side of creamed spinach. If a veggie is green that means it is healthy, no matter what, right? These were real “healthy” especially with the cream and butter. Mmm.
I had the breaded pork chop for my main. It was quite a large chop that was breaded and fried nicely albeit a tad towards the overcooked. It was pretty tasty especially with the crispy potato and creamy spinach. The applesauce was useful to dip the pork into to help fix the dryness.
As if this wasn’t enough food, we all had to pick a dessert. We had full run of the dessert menu with approximately 10 different choices. As expected, chocolate fondue was not included in the prix fixe selections.
CT chose the apple streudel for the sake of choosing something, but was way too full to enjoy it.
CT says: Again, I was initially going to order some light sorbet to cleanse my palate, but received another look from the person on my left. So apple streudel it was for something more traditional. It was pretty good, but like TT said, I was just too full. I ate more of the ice-cream than the streudel, which was good but nothing special. Overall, I was happily surprised by how much and how good the food was for the low price.
I went with my standard choice of crème brûlée. It was a pretty standard presentation. It had a nice crust and the custard was not soupy, so that gets a passing grade by me.
All in all, it was a good meal at a fantastic price. The restaurant could use a bit of freshening up, but otherwise it was a good place for a family get together. I was satisfied enough to go back sometime to try the fondue or raclette.