Number 9 Park???
Has anyone been here recently? I'm going tonight (ack, i've got about an hour to read responses) and am just wondering if there's anything special on the menu I should keep an eye out for. It's been years since I've been there & i know it's a board favorite, so curious to hear recs if it's not too late. Tx!
I started another thread to post my review but thought I'd put it here too:
Had a very nice dinner at Number 9 Park last night. Sat in the dining room, and definitely felt the "special occasion vibe." My overall feeling was a good one, though I'm not sure this is a place I'd seek out again. Food is excellent, don't get me wrong, but it's just a tad too "over the top" for me. For example, our waiter said that on average, each dish takes approximately 6-8 pans to prepare. The opposite end of the spectrum from simple uncomplicated fare, though I do understand that's what classic French cooking is all about. (And I'm sure Julia Child loved it here!) Even reading the dessert menu can be confusing... Anyway, service was excellent, with the exception of a few "drink" glitches which I'll get to in a moment. All in all, our waiter was extremely professional, helpful and knowledgable.
Here's the rundown:
Broccoli soup --ordered this as a starter...really good.The deepest most intense shade of green with flavor to match...Came with a dollop of a mustard creme fraiche I think.
Prune gnocchi w/foie gras --this is an app, but I ordered as my main course. As amazing as everyone said it would be. Since I'm a foie gras novice (or i was last night) they put the sauteed foie gras on the side for me. The gnocchi was delicate and light, the vin santo glaze was sweet and rich. Foie gras was unlike anything I've ever tasted, so distinctive, decadent, not gamey at all as I thought it might be, with just the slightest essence of meat flavor, rich with butter and duck fat I'm sure. I can see why people go crazy for this, truly a taste sensation.
Also, as an FYI, I did ask the waiter if there was a way to prepare this without the foie gras, and he was very accomodating and said they could make it w/ a brown butter sauce. I decided it was worth the experience so I went with the dish "as is.." A smart move.
Peking Duck Breast --this was very good, but confused me as it was duck served 2 ways, even though the menu didn't specify that. Very quickly seared duck breast, served fairly rare, and then some sort of braised duck..again very rich and intensely flavored.
I started w/a pear martini. WOW. Can you say vodka? Really strong drink but yes, very delicious. Not a frou-frou drink at all...
My only complaint --and this was really my only complaint overall --it probably took over 20 minutes to get my drink. We sat down, ordered the drinks, looked at the menu, ordered our food, and we were still waiting. My DC ordered a glass of prosecco, which she got relatively quickly. The pear martini..not so much. I really wanted to enjoy this drink pre-dinner. While chatting, looking at the menu, easing into the place. It finally came right around the time my first course (broccoli soup) was arriving..which was sort of a bummer b/c I like to drink wine with my food --not vodka. Then....our main courses came and even though I hadn't made much of a dent in my food I ordered a glass of their Pinot Noir...again..waited...waited....I ate about half the gnocchi (granted, this was an app portion so was not huge, i think maybe 5 gnocchi?) but.....then sort of sat back, hoping I'd get the wine and be able to enjoy it with my food. I think we waited about 15 minutes...at one point I saw our waiter go by and I think he remembered because a few seconds later he appeared with the wine bottles. Not a huge deal, but a slight inconvenience. By the time I got my wine I was mostly done with my meal.
I think the first wait was due to the bar...the second one..I think was the waiter's mishap. Anyway.
They've got wacky names for their desserts and they are so intricate...one look at the list and you are sort of clueless about what they even are. Obviously not something you'd prepare easily at home. We asked the waiter what he liked. He recommended two, a deeply intense chocolate cake and the "calamint creamsicles" which were basically creme brulee on a stick w/beignets and cranberries. Sort of a wacky mixture of ingredients but they all worked together. We ordered just the "calamint creamsicles" and as he brought the chocolate one too...which was such a nice, classy touch..and exactly the sort of touch that makes No. 9 Park a special place that stands out on it's own.
All in all, an excellent meal, a perfect 'special occasion place.' If I was to head back here, I think I'd be more inclined to sit at the bar.
I guess I'm the only one to be so underwhelmed by the foie gras/prune/gnocchi dish. Found it bland and boring. I am looking forward to the sweetbreads app next time.
The monkfish with red curry nage was not quite what I had expected, the nage is quite spicy and the monkfish not terribly tasty, (not bad, just kind of eh).
My DH and I were just there last Thursday. DH enjoyed his sweetbreads app. and I really liked my ravioletti with fresh ricotta app. The pasta was appeared to be made in house, and was perfectly done. The fresh ricotta filling was creamy and lightly salted. We overheard the table next to ours that they really loved the gnocchi with prunes, which I believe is No. 9's specialty. For entrees, I tasted my DH's veal shank and I thought it was awesome! Fall off the bone and they give you a little spoon for the marrow. Yum! Enjoy your dinner there!