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What's your latest food project?

Mercer Kitchen

Martha Gehan Dec 14, 1998 11:21 AM

Five of us are going to Mercer Kitchen tomorrow night.
Two are very interested in wine, particularly big reds
at fair prices. We're not looking for bargains so much
as very good value for the money spent. Love champagne
and other sparklers as well. All of us love to eat and
three will try almost anything listed on any menu(the
fifth is a friend's mom visting from Kentucky-she's a
great cook and an adventurous eater). Anyone who's
been there have suggestions? Some of our party went on
one of the preview nights (not me), but I hear the
menu's changed since then.

  1. s
    seth Dec 15, 1998 06:36 PM

    sorry to break the news to you, but JG's latest
    downtown attempt just isn't up the the uptown
    standards. While the room is exceptionally
    comfortable (considering that is is in a basement) and
    the service is typically unobtrusive, the food does
    not stand out. Wines are a decent value when you
    consider the surroundings, but the meals just feel as
    though they were half-thought out. I had a skate dish
    that tasted a bit off (too vinegary) and a lobster app
    that was rather bland. My partner had the tuna pizza
    (the highlight of the evening) which has a riccota-
    wasabi base and sashimi slices of tuna accented by
    whole fresh shiso leaves. It was different but
    acceptable. The entree of short ribs and hanger steak
    was cooked to the correct temperature, but the sauce
    had absolutely nothing going for it.
    I must say that I was personally disappointed as I
    have been previously employed by Jean Georges @JoJo.
    and I have always enjoyed my meals, without exception
    at his other locales. Maybe the kitchen is still
    finding its groove, because I felt the rest of the
    dining experience was pleasant.
    I would not go back unless I was assured the food had
    been reworked, although the space is so exciting,
    maybe just ordering from the raw bar (always many
    choices)and having cocktails is the way to go.

    1 Reply
    1. re: seth
      Martha Gehan Dec 16, 1998 03:21 PM

      Seth, I read your message after I'd been to Mercer
      Kitchen but your comments pretty much reflect my
      experience. We were disappointed in the wine list,
      thought it was a little blah and plopped for the house
      champagne (Nicolas Feuillate Brut) which we thought
      represented the best value (the pinot noir and cabernet
      prices were high). We liked appetizers and desserts
      better than the main courses (my very tender and
      delicious venison was absolutely drowned in a highly
      salty and overly intense red wine reduction), with the
      tuna tartare a particular high point. It was
      imaginatively spiced and beautifully presented in a
      hollowed Meyer lemon. And one could actually taste the
      Meyer lemon juice in the tartare. But generally I, as
      a great fan of Jean-Georges' other ventures , was a bit
      disappointed. I would like to go back for drinks- it
      has a lively atmosphere and the interior is attractive-
      and perhaps try that pizza you touted. But I wouldn't
      go tearing back for dinner at $90 a head.

    2. c
      corndog Dec 14, 1998 12:11 PM

      I was there for the first time on Sat. I wasn't really
      blown away. I had the red snapper from the oven. The
      desset I had was outrageous---panne cotte with
      pineapple sorbet and grilled pineapple---fabulous. But
      sorry, I'm not in a big hurry to go back. Hope
      YOU have a good time. (There was no toilet paper in
      one of the stalls in the ladies room!)

      1 Reply
      1. re: corndog
        sarah Apr 22, 1999 11:33 AM

        blows away that place across the street that begins
        with a z. tuna pizza is amazing. well done...

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