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Great dinner at House on 9th

l
Limster Apr 12, 2001 03:14 AM

I just had dinner at House on 9th tonight (9th Ave between Irving and Lincoln), my first visit in over a year. There was talk about this place on this board recently, and I thought I'd share my experience. The food and presentation is as good as I remembered. Service was also very professional but easygoing at the same time. I would still recommend it strongly especially considering the prices (entrees in high teens).

I should have looked at their new seafood bar menu, but forgot, as I was more interested in their fish entrees that I love.

The salmon spring rolls were wonderful (it's always been a favorite) - light and crispy skins of rice flour around the tender and meaty nori-wrapped fish. It comes with gingery slaw of vegetables and a pungent and potent mustard dipping sauce, a sort of stand-in for wasabi.

We also had the special appetizer of cold fried smelt dressed with a vinaigrette (that offset the slight savory brininess from the fish). It was also accompanied by some frisee and a few slices of lemon, cucumber and radish.

I got the special entree and it was special - miso seasoned black cod that was perfectly cooked. In the first few seconds on the palate it clings on to a firmess but soon melts delicately and pleasurably. The sauce was complex and lightly sweet, with notes from soy, sesame and miso and the most innocent innuendo of chilli or paprika. This came with a satisfying but basic unagi roll, which nevertheless made a good and interesting substitute for the usual mashed potatoes or rice.

Also had a few bites of the mahi mahi with a rich and creamy shrimp sauce - excellent and worth getting, but not as good as the black cod.

Dessert was a Japanese pumpkin (forgot the name in Japanese) and macadamia nut tart with a some fairly light mascarpone. Good but not fantastic.

Had the iced lychee black tea instead of wine and also finished with a pot of tea - a medium bodied ti kuan yin with a complex wood-toned fragrance. (I'm used to redder and richer versions of this brew but it was a nice light coda.)