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Jan 18, 2001 01:44 PM

1/13 Four Seasons [LONG]

  • g

When my spouse and daughter decided to commemorate my 50th birthday with a trip to NYC, I announced that I wanted to do something I'd wanted to do for years: Have dinner at the Four Seasons. I made a reservation a couple of weeks in advance (no problem getting the time we wanted -- I guess this place has been around so long that it's not in the same category as Nobu and some other spots where it's apparently impossible to get a dinner reservation). In a nutshell, we had a memorable experience. While the food may not be NYC's best or most innovative, the combination of very good food, beautiful setting (in the Pool Room), and highly professional service resulted for us in an evening we will long remember. [For the record, I had their "selection of [8] oysters" (outstanding) and monkfish "osso buco" (excellent), followed by a cheese plate (excellent -- not on the menu; they prepared it at my request).] This is pretty clearly an "event" restaurant -- at least it was last Saturday. The table next to us was also celebrating a 50th birthday, the one behind a 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, it was pretty expensive ($385 inclusive of tax and tip, which covered one round of drinks, 3 courses, and a bottle of California Pinot Noir), but to the extent one can justify spending money of this kind on dining out, to us it was "worth it." (Or maybe those of us from the sticks are easily impressed!) [Other places we ate while in town included: JUdson Grill on W. 52nd for Friday dinner (a pretty room with good food), an Italian/California/SW place whose name I can't recall on the NE corner of W. 60th and 3rd Ave, next to Arizona 206 for Saturday lunch (ok), Cafe de Artistes, 1 W. 67th St., for Sunday brunch (had a pretty good lobster salad, and loved the room itself), and Martini's, a low-key, informal place at E. 53rd and 7th Ave. (very good). We bought warm pretzels on the street and grabbed a hot dog (Nathan's -- don't know how these compare to some of the dogs discussed recently by NY CH's) in Penn Station as we prepared to return to DC.] Bottom line is that DC is a much better place to dine than it was 10 or 15 years ago, but there is no place like New York! We'll be back!!

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  1. Greg,

    Thanks for the terrific report. I'm curious about how monkfish "osso buco" was prepared.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman
      Peter B. Wolf

      Don't quite get the term "OSSO BUCO" as a preparation method, as the translation word for word is : "bone" and "hole", which in Italian menu terminology is used ONLY for braised Vealshank, the shank cut into slice, so the bone is in the middle surrounded by meat, and the "hole" showing. Yes, I also am interested how Monkfish can relate to that.!!?? Peter.

      1. re: Peter B. Wolf

        I can imagine braising pieces solid pieces of fish in the same aromatic vegetables and white wine (and tomatoes) and sprinkling them with the same herb lemon mix at the end..maybe thats what the dish is.

        1. re: jen kalb
          Michael Messier

          They're probabaly just taking liberties with the word, an often used method of restaurants to make dishes sound more interesting than they really are. Salmon pastrami is another. Some might think that sounds better than Gravlax.

          As far as osso bucco monk fish, perhaps they stuck some kind of vegtable in the medallion. Wasn't there a restaurant in NYC offering something they called a fish "chop?"

        2. re: Peter B. Wolf

          The monkfish was presented with the "backbone" in the middle surrounded by the meat of the fish. Not sure if it was braised or not; tend to think it was baked. It was very good, however.

          1. re: Peter B. Wolf

            FYI, Lupa has a turkey ossobuco on the menu that is quite good.