Friday, February 04, 2011

The Breslin Restaurant Week Review

Swirls of icy confetti that clouded the air the night before lay in ruins, forming layers of whipped cream across the sidewalks. People were scooping it out of the way into mounds where it would not be tread on. It was a snow day for many and a good one with the skies now clear and the sun shining. For my dining companion and me, it meant a bonus Restaurant Week lunch at The Breslin. I've had several good meals there now, but it is pricey enough to make the $24.07 lunch worth it. And it's snow day kind of food.

A plate of blood sausage with a poached egg & mustard vinaigrette warmed us up. The texture and taste was akin to eating a liver pate. The egg was so delicate and runny, it was as though it had barely touched the boiling water. Steer clear if you have any fear of a raw egg.

I didn't know what to expect of the bollito misto: poussin, cotechino, and smoked lamb's tongue. But it sounded like the kind of meal you'd want before going into hibernation, something that would help bolster your stores of fat. It was an intriguing trio soaking in a light bath of broth — a deliciously tame piece of braised chicken, a tasty slice of sausage that I assumed was made from pork and the unfamiliar lamb's tongue. The smokiness of the tongue made it seem like a cousin to pastrami or a smoked ham. And I liked it as long as I didn't concentrate too much on the fatty texture and the thought of what I was actually consuming.

My dining companion ordered off the regular lunch menu. I raved about the lamb burger but she wanted to save it for a time when her mood called for it so that she could properly appreciate its pleasures. She chose what turned out to be a good alternative — the char-grilled skirt steak with green sauce and fried eggs. The heavenly green sauce was thick with cilantro and gave the dish a Latin edge. Any  meat would taste good in it. We weren't asked how we wanted the steak — the chef's choice was a proper medium rare, but charred to perfection on the outside.

The dark chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream and brown butter bourbon sauce was our dessert of choice. The chocolate was only mildly sweet and, surprisingly, the same went for the caramel ice cream. The sauce leaned a little too alcoholic. But the ice cream was stunning, subtle in a way I've not found this flavor to be often, and tasted homemade.

As much as it's snowed this winter, meals like this can make you grateful for an excuse to eat to your heart's content.

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