- Dorothy & Andrew Apr 9, 2000 02:26 PM
We finally got to Thalia last night after months of good intentions. The meal was good enough to warrant an enthusiastic post. Here goes...
First, reservations were made spur of the moment, same day for a table for 2 on a Saturday night at 8. Yes, we recognize it's a theater district spot and accordingly has a lull at that hour. While the availability of same day reservations may not sound like good news for the restaurant, it was (of course) great for us. Not to worry either, all the tables were full anyway. Maybe we just lucked out.
Second, the food was superb. For starters, we had the endive salad - served very cold and crisp with an excellent blend of flavors including aged gruyere & smoked pumpkin seeds. Also, we had the oysters - incredibly fresh and served with a wasabi tobiko granite. Don't laugh, it really worked. For main courses we had Australian rack of lamb with rosemary gnocchi & fava beans. Again the flavors were perfectly blended - a great idea to have the rosemary on the gnocchi rather than the lamb itself. Also, the short ribs were tremendous. Served with choy sum & mashed potatoes (not Robuchon but plenty good), the ribs were incredibly tender and had great cabernet flavor despite hours of braising. We followed this with a shared roquefort, seckel pear, arugula dish and a glass of port. Everything was in fine balance despite big tastes.
Service was friendly and responsive. Our waiter was on the chummy side, telling stories etc., but you could tell he would have had the discretion to be less so if we had wanted it that way. The maitre d' came over and talked to us about a recent visit from Gourmet magazine which will run in June. It will be much more difficult to score quick reservations then.
So thumbs up. Have a visit. Let us know what you think if you go or have already been.
Dorothy and Andrew
I think it would be fine for a special occasion, Michael. I would prefer it to several other restaurants comparable in price including 11 Madison Park, and some that cost way more, like Aureole. It's definitely in the same league as some higher ticket places. If you go, please leave a post about your experience.
I've been to Thalia several times, mainly because I live around the corner and I am extremely lazy. My experiences have been less solidly positive than yours.
I can't point to a "bad" dish but I've been somewhat underwhelmed by several dishes (the yellowtail sashimi and rack of lamb come to mind). Other dishes have been great (the langoustines and the sea bass). The desserts have not been particularly good, the last one, some sort of berry tart, was actually fairly bad.
If this sounds overly harsh it's only because relative to the prices, I think the food could be much better. If you want a meal that gives you something like what I think Thalia is going for, try Sono on 57th Street. I've only been once, but it was very special.
I have had similar issues with Local, another ambitious, pricey newcomer in my neighborhood.