Monday, May 03, 2004

So, of course, in a blog about food in Maine, there are times when it becomes nessesary to leave the state. For those of you headed to New York City for the weekend (I can't be there much more than three days at a time) I have a suggestion for a great restaurant that won't break the bank.

Greg and I decided to train it to the city and get some work done. We both had meetings and we tried to plan a bit of fun in between. We arrived there last Sunday, tired and sore from carrying our bags and our briefcases (mine always has heavy research materials inside) to the apartment. We laid down on the bed and thought we could just stay in and order out....but hell, we were in NY for a short time and should go exploring the neighborhood restaurants.

The Tapas Lounge, 59th and 1st Ave

We stumbled across this place while wandering around. We could hardly find the door with all the ornate grill work on the outside of the building! We read the menu and kept walking, still interested in finding some cute hole in the wall place to eat, not sure what we were craving. After an hour or so, we passed by again and found the door.

Inside was dark, the wall sponged a dark pumpkin and the furniture, heavily carved Spanish country baroque style (this is about the best I can do for a description of the style) There were some tables strewn about with two armchairs, but mostly the place was littered with upholstered divans with loose throw pillows centered around low coffee tables. The grill work around the windows meant that you couldn't see out to the street very well and subsequently, people couldn't see in either. There was a bar in one corner and racks of wine bottles everywhere. It was totally cool, except that the music didn't was a bit loud and a bit contemporary Spanish, not the muted romantic instrumental music I would've liked.

The staff was really friendly and brought us menus with specials. We each had two dishes and of course were going to share. I had the veal meatballs in a lightly spiced red sauce and potatoes with a spicy mayonaisse. Both were incredible. Greg ordered blanced asparagus with melted monchegno cheese and a lightly baked grouper that came to the table crusty on the outside and light and succulent on the inside. He said it was perfect. Desserts were a selection of flans and custards, which we didn't want, so after two drinks and the meal, we got out of there for $50.00
Atmosphere: A
Food A
Service A
Music B-