Bar Americain - better than expected
I didn't have high New Year's Eve hopes for Bar Americain, since it's gotten mixed reviews on the board, and I know it's a popular tourist spot. I was pleasantly surprised: the service was great, the food tasty, and a weird but notable feature -- its acoustics/sound level were great, an increasingly uncommon quality in NYC restaurants of this size.
My fiance and I shared an excellent crab-crawfish cake starter, and I enjoyed my "Florida-style" red snapper with mango-avocado salsa and black bean-chipotle sauce. My fiance's cioppino was fantastic. Our friends seemed pleased with their choices as well; the only minor glitch was our friend's veal chop special that was promptly replaced when he said it was overcooked.
I'd definitely recommend it as a good choice in that area -- not necessarily something to go out of your way for, but well worth visiting if you're around the Theater District, Rockefeller Center, etc. We were heading to a NYE concert at Radio City, so it was just about perfect.
Glad to hear you enjoyed your meal there Jules. My friend and I ate there when it first opened and were thoroughly pleased with our dinner too, I wrote a review here about it. As you mentioned, it's one of those places which gets bashed, as do other BF restaurants, but personally I've only had good meals at all of his venues. Not remarkable, but solid and I would go back to each and every one. Thanks for the review!