One if By Land TIBS...
Celebrated my 30th birthday there last week. Not my first choice, but it was a surprise.
The food was okay not great and for those prices the food should be great. We had the tasting menu. Everything was very salty (and I like salt). Dessert was a dissapointment....:(
The highlight of the meal was the lobster medallion served over a herbed risotto and a cauliflower puree, the squab in some sort of reduction sauce was toe-curling good. It was served with foie gras that was too small, but delicious anyway. But the time my rack of lamb was served and my fiance's famous beef wellington, I think we were too stuffed to enjoy it.
If you are thinking of going ask to be seated downstairs. I thought upstairs was dull.
We started off the evening at Gramercy Tavern for cheese and martinis. As always it was great. I was not crazy about the basil martini, but my fiance liked it. It smelled like a pizza. They make a good dirty martini though. Kind of wish we had dinner there.
Oh well, it was a wondeful birthday anyway.
Happy 30th, Jo!
I'm amazed that, for at least 10 years, the complaints about One If By Land TIBS have been identical: Not great (sometimes lousy) food at incredibly high prices; upstairs is a bore; the beef Wellington makes you agree with Ruth Reichl that it's a bad idea in the first place; the desserts are uniformly terrible; and so on and on. The ONLY thing the place has going for it is the place--it's undeniably gorgeous and romantic. Too bad you didn't do the reverse--have martinis at One If By Land and dinner at Gramercy Tavern! I think Gramercy Tavern continues to be the best restaurant (all-around) in Manhattan. I always go there for my special occasions. Chef/co-owner Tom Colicchio and pastry chef Claudia Fleming are as good as it gets.
Well, now you're 30, and you're obviously wiser!
re: Tom Steele
On Colicchio and Fleming winning their Beard Awards:
As well they should have--three years ago, and every year since! Sorry to be such a fanatic, but I dine out a LOT, and I haven't found anyplace that is on Gramercy Tavern's level. Flavors are always intense, presentations straight-ahead and generous, ingredients are the very finest, and and and.
For what it's worth, like most people, I also adore Peacock Alley, Vong, Jean-Georges, Chanterelle, AND the 14th Street taco wagon, as well as Cuban sandwiches from the hole-in-the-wall on 13th Street at First Avenue. (One of the many things to adore about this site is the ubiquitous egalitarianism!)
By the by, folks, "Restaurant Week" is coming soon--the week of June 19-23. Get ready to speed-dial!