No. 9 Park: Elegant but tiny portions
- Chocolate Mousse Mar 11, 2006 07:51 AM
A week or two ago, I wrote in search of restaurant for a special meal. I ended up going to the cafe at No. 9 Park. While I appreciated the atmosphere and loved the food, the portions were TINY for the price. The shrimp salad appetizer was a regular portion, but the main course (seafood and noodles) was small and dwarfed by a large bowl. My $12 crepe dessert consisted of four of five quarter-sized wavers, sandwiched with marscapone, along with three teapoons full of ice cream and some fruit compote. In comparison, I had just eaten at Lumiere, and thought that the food quality was excellent, with generous portions. Anyone else had a similar experience at No. 9 Park? Is the dining room (versus the cafe) any different?
I don't remember the portions being small, just that the food was good but not as good as other restaurants in that price range.
I did find it odd that my "half duck" was two leg quarters and no breast. Do you have to ask what half duck means? I've never had this happen with duck anywhere else.
My dining companions and I all had a similar experience in the dining room recently. Really big plates, really small entrees. The service was excellent, the cheese platter fabulous etc. My entree was fresh but unexceptional in flavor. For $38 I received 2-3 oz of salmon with a crisp skin, 2-3 bites of spinach and 2 oysters. Another in our group ordered rack of lamb and got one chop with a side of lamb confit (it was good but not as billed). The meal was good but we were all very underwhelmed.
Old thread, but since we're on the topic... A friend and I went to No. 9 Park for lunch during the summer Restaurant Week, and the same thing happened. For the appetizer, I had the gazpacho and she had the arugula salad with poached egg. Both came in huge dishes, but the portions were gone in less than 5 bites / spoonfuls. The entrees, the cod and pork shank, were similarly small. On top of it, the entrees were very lacking in flavor. As another post mentioned previously, fresh but flavorless.
I guess for Restaurant Week, at the lower price point, you can't expect too much. Still, it was a disappointing experience, since I've dined there twice before, with the dinner and lunch tasting menus. However, every time the experience has gone downhill. Just not enough pop in flavor to justify the price. I'm glad I just paid the Restaurant Week price this time around to get a measure of Park's current skill.
Wow, I liked the RW pork and loved the cod en papillote (we shared dishes). Small servings, but it's 3 courses at lunch so I wont' complain. My favorite dish was probably the gnocci, however ($6 supplement). Their cocktails are wonderful, the Palmyra is my favorite, though we had prosecco (good) with this restaurant week lunch.
DH and I celebrated our 16th anniversary there last night (main room, not the cafe), and all our portions were gigantic. I started with the spectacular white almond gazpacho; he started with the gnocchi. For entrees I had the duet of duck, which was sliced breast and a sort of confit mountain, and he had the pork shoulder confit. The cheese service was actually the only semi-disappointment (No triple cremes-- in fact no soft cheeses at all.).
Oh, also, I made the mistake of ordering the "Dalmatian" cocktail, which was way too sweet -- my own fault. The menu did mention maraschino; I should have known better.
I like No9 very much, but you say the portions were "gigantic". How many Dalmatian's did you drink??