Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fine Hotel Dining at Vitrine

Vitrine did Dine About Town really, really well. No cutting corners, no skimping. Just super awesome food beautifully presented. I hadn't actually heard of this downtown resto found in the St. Regis Hotel, but work pal VB gave it such high marks that I made lunch rezzies for a group of us on that day.

Vitrine's amuse bouche comprised a medley of tart olives and house-cured charcuterie.

The Maine lobster bisque flavored with lemongrass and topped with a celeriac foam tasted like liquid lobster; it was so fresh and delicious.

I got the peppery arugula salad piled on top of 2 yummy disks of organic rabbit porchetta, accompanied by generous shavings of Parmesan cheese and a really lovely dollop of satsuma mandarin marmalade.

And I ate every bit of the uber-moist, roasted Chilean sea bass, which came with sweet pearl onions and leeks bathed in a sherry vinegar and “vitello tonato” jus.

VB ever-so-graciously gave me a taste of her perfectly done walnut-crusted squab breast, savory cabbage compote and crispy potato galette.

Loved the apple tart with lavender honey ice cream and salted caramel sauce.

And the tiramisu was also mighty fine.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Starbelly So Good

The very preggy Mrs. H and I snapped up the last of the handful of bar seats at hotter-than-hot newcomer Starbelly. A good thing too as the crowds started filling the foyer and the sidewalk beyond while we noshed on the some really tasty crab hush puppies; grilled sardines with lotsa lemon, chives and capers; and my fave: Sonoma lamb chops grilled medium rare with a dollop of quince chutney accompanied by a generous scoop of cheddar grits and a tangle of braised greens.

Mrs H's sea bass (not pictured) was fried to a deep, deep crisp—unfortunately not what my gal pal was hoping for. She'd have much prefered a lighter hand with the oil. Oh well, the oh-so-tasty chocolate ice cream banana split sundae with peanut butter cookie helped make up for it.