Robert Sietsima raves about Annisa (13 Barrow St., 741-6699), a new fusion restaurant whose chef had been the chef at Mirezi, in the latest Village Voice; in fact, he makes it sound like a must-visit. Has anyone else been there?
I decided to try this place based on Robert Sietsema's review. It was a frustrating meal, not because it was bad but because it began like it was going to be outstanding and wound up averaging out to just very good. I had the tasting menu, which had virtually no fusion elements. The amuse-bouche, salmon tartare and salmon roe with chives in a pastry shell, was wonderful, one of the best things I've had in New York. The next course, a vichysoisse with an oyster in it, was quite good too. Then came tea smoked salmon with a quail egg, which was good but more mildly flavored than I would have liked. Cod with pistachio sauce, potatoes, and clams followed: the pistachio sauce was tasty but tended to overpower the milder flavor of the cod. Next came lamb tenderloins in lamb sausage robe; the lamb was tender indeed, but again the "sausage robe" was so highly spiced as to drown out the taste of the lamb. The dessert, chocolate beggar's purse, was sort of like a molten-center (but puddingy rather than molten) chocolate cake in a thin pastry purse, and was good but not great. Although my waitress said it was her favorite because she loved chocolate, I wished it were more chocolatey than it was. Overall, as I say, it was a good meal, but I wouldn't rave about it (even though after my first course I was ready to).