Seven - A Review
We stopped in to Seven (350 7TH Ave @ 30th St 212-967-1919) last night prior to a show at MSG. We did not have reservations, although we had tried to get them over the phone on the day of. They said we could probably get seated if we just came on in. They don't do OpenTable or seem to have automated reservations, but look like they hold tables for locals or walk-in's which seems like a fair enough policy.
We were seated quickly, in the back near the kitchen, which was a bit warm, even though a cool Fall snap was in the air. The rear part of the restaurant on the ground floor can get noisy due to the back of the house clanging pans around and servers yelling for missing items. Still it was not so bad, and I would not turn down a table there if that was the only one available. Upstairs is less scenic, but calmer. The ambience is upscale for the nabe - there are paneled walls, chandeliers, and classy iron railings. The bathrooms however are a bit low end for the price point the menu aims at. Expect the usual $10+ type of cocktails on their specialty drink menu. The by the glass program has a fair number of commericial offerings at $8+. The SO had a glass of Perrier Jouet ($15) which was served in a quality stem. Service started off mildly inattentive, but they were busy.
We started with a pear/cheese salad and a lobster salad. My pear salad was very tasty and filling. The pears were gently poached and there was just the right amount of other flavorants (cheese/coulis etc) in the frisse. I guess for $10 its ok on the value. The lobster salad ($15) had a good chunk of lobster and had a nice mustard sauce with it. I tried it and liked it too.
We then had the double stuffed pork chop ($24 with mashed, fried zucch, and apple chunks) which was impressively large. Half of it went into a take away package for lunch tomorrow. The chop was pretty good, and seemed to true to the specfied medium well request. I had the scallops over mashed with swiss chard. My scallops were well seared and tasty; the hazelnut mashed taters were different but tasty, and my chard was a tad over salted. I'd get the dish again, but would ask to leave the salt off the swiss chard. One thing that strikes you is how much/many unusual ingredients show up on the menu and in your plate. It's a little busy/contrived....but this place does make it work.
Although we were offered the dessert menu, and refills on water, we were a little pressed for time and were not able to stay longer. Getting the check was swift and efficient. The bar scene is happening there btw, and it looks like they do a bit of dinner business there too.
I'd go back, especially if were going to MSG. The prices seem mildly high for the nabe, but you are paying for the quality ambience and decor. It's much above the usual banal pub grub surrounding MSG.
I went last night as well before the Eric Clapton show (which was excellent, btw).
I too had the pear salad and thought it to be pretty good. Could have used a little more gorgonzola, but that's just me. Otherwise a good dish with hefty proportions of greens.
My wife had the clear vegetable soup to start. She thought it pretty and tasty but was served scorchingly hot. Again, portion size was good+.
For entrees, I had the steak sandwich with fries (instead of chips) and my wife had the lobster salad - which she said was very good and as AKR had mentioned, was well proportioned with a good amount of lobster. My steak sandwich was perfectly cooked (medium rare), the bread it was served on had a nice crunch to it and the dijon mustard I requested was delivered immediately.
For dessert we shared the special: a mediocre banana chocolate bread pudding. I had a cup of also mediocre earl grey tea.
The service here was suprisingly excellent. The bread service (a choice of 4 different kinds, pleasantly displayed in a basket), our waitress and the bussers were all incredibly pleasant and helpful...I was surprised.
I was able to get a reservation for 2 people, upstairs at 6:15 with a simple phone call at around noon. But they are likely required as the place was packed halfway through our meal.
I've been here for drinks and "tapas" or bar snacks pre-MSG concert before, but this was the first time I'd eaten a real meal here...but it won't be my last. This is a sure thing for a pre-Garden dining.
Oh, I only ordered a ginger ale (not feeling so hot) and my wife just had water. So two apps, two entrees (well, one was a $15 app), one dessert, tea and a ginger ale came to $70. Not bad at all.