Shelter from the Storm

March 22, 2018

The snow kept coming down, relentlessly, beautifully, constantly, but New York City snowplows were snuffling about, keeping the streets fairly clean. Getting around was easier than it’s been for years – there was no one on the road – and cabs prowled empty streets, eager for fares.

What better night, I thought, to try to snag a seat at the city’s hippest new restaurant, the one you can never manage to get into?  I’ve been wanting to go to Legacy Records, and this was my moment.  “Sure they said when we dripped into the restaurant, “come right in.”

I can’t imagine a better place to be in the middle of the storm.

The latest venture from the Charlie Bird/Pasquale Jones people is large, warm, candle-lit and casual. The ceilings are high; you can talk.  Beautiful people keep walking in the door; at one point Pharrell arrived with a large entourage.  Glancing down at the menu, I wanted to eat everything.

To begin: a blood orange spritz.  The perfect antidote to the too-sweetness of Aperol.

You have to pay for the bread.  You’ll be glad you did.  It arrives, all warm and crusty, with both butter and lardo. That sprouted, seeded loaf is soulful, absolutely what bread should be.

The crudo tasting is fantastic.  (It is also, at $25 per person, very  expensive.  Better, I think, to order the dishes individually.)  But you will want them all, from those razor clams with tarragon, to the oysters with their crunch and their heat and their pop, to the truly gorgeous Nantucket bay scallops.

But what you absolutely do not want to miss is that Montauk tuna! It does not taste like any tuna I’ve eaten before; rich, soft and sweet all at the same time, this is tuna with serious character.

You definitely want this salad! Grains, greens, radishes and roots, a glorious muddle of flavor.

You want this cuttlefish pasta too, a little symphony in black and white with the added crunch of crumbs.

I’ll be going back to taste that dry aged rib eye, the roasted chicken, the sea trout. I’m sure they’re all delicious.  But how will I ever manage to keep from ordering the duck?  This is the duck of my dreams –  all crisp darkness on the outside, all rich juicy redness within.  The pears, the endive and the pistachios are perfect partners.

We left reluctantly.  While we were eating the snow had gotten more intense, and we slip-slided all the way home. Which made the entire adventure that much more fun.

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1 Comment

  • Sally Baker says:

    I’m loving Tender At The Bone and then got curious to find that here you are all over the net right up to date. Makes me want to be back in NYC but until later this year I’ve you’re wonderful writing to take me there.
    In gratitude.

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