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Anyone been to Compass recently?

r
rrems Oct 26, 2007 01:00 PM

I am hesitating to go back to Compass since the departure of chef John Fraser. Has anyone noticed a change in quality since the former chef has returned?

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    selizara RE: rrems Oct 26, 2007 01:43 PM

    I will be there Saturday night. I'll be sure to let you know how I think it compares (I have had dinner there probably a dozen times in the last year or so.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: selizara
      r
      rrems RE: selizara Oct 26, 2007 02:29 PM

      thanks so much. it will be great to get your opinion.

      1. re: rrems
        s
        selizara RE: rrems Oct 29, 2007 07:26 AM

        My parents and I dined on Saturday at around 5:45 (we had to get home in time to watch the Red Sox beat the Rockies!) Our waiter pleasantly asked us if we were making a curtain (no, but we hoped Daisuke would be making multiple curtain calls.)

        We all did the prix fixe menu. My mom and I had the smoked salmon appetizer, which was fine but nothing special. My dad had the cauliflower soup, which he at first thought was quite bland but once he stirred it around and incorporated all of the other things they added, he said it was quite nice.

        All of us had the hangar steak as an entree, and it was super. Beautifully cooked, great saucing, and the roasted potatoes had the added surprise bite of some salty olives that made them great. There are always entrees on the regular menu that look enticing, but you just can't beat the value of the $35 prix fixe there. Another development is that they have begun to list wine pairings on the menu with the prix fixe. The rioja paired with the hangar steak was good and also a great value ($9/glass but we got the bottle for $30.)

        Was it the best meal I have had at Compass? No. Was it a solidly good meal? Definitely.

        1. re: selizara
          c
          chow_gal RE: selizara Oct 29, 2007 10:20 AM

          I've wanted to try but have heard (even on this board) that the crowd tends to skew towards the, um, er, elderly? Perhaps that is the pre-opera crowd?

          Did you notice that? Hmm, probably yes at 5.45 on a Saturday, but stil curious.

          SOX WIN WAS GREAT!!

          1. re: chow_gal
            s
            selizara RE: chow_gal Oct 29, 2007 11:08 AM

            You are correct that the pre-opera/symphony crowd is generally older. I think it gets younger in the later evenings (and especially at the wine bar) but it _is_ the Upper West Side we're talking about.

            I'm 26 and do generally feel a bit young there, but not uncomfortable enough that I wouldn't go. Honestly, I already feel like I don't belong in the nabe, so it's not that much different from anywhere else.

            HOORAY SOX!

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      slewlew RE: rrems Oct 26, 2007 04:52 PM

      i was there last night - i have never been there before so i can't speak for the quality change.
      i enjoyed the meal a lot. was in my top 10 or anything but very enjoyable pretty affordable meal.
      i also really enjoyed the wine - it was great for the value.

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        rifbat RE: rrems Oct 26, 2007 06:18 PM

        I agree with slewlew. Four of us had dinner there Wed. evening and the food and service were very good, excellent value for the money. It also felt more professionally run than most restaurants on the UWS. The duck and foie gras entree was delicious. The extras such as the amuses bouches, petits fours and muffins to take home for next dsy breakfast were lovely touches. Added bonus: Sitting one table away from Alan Alda!

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          RGR RE: rrems Oct 27, 2007 10:03 AM

          Though John Fraser has departed, the kitchen is once again in the very capable hands of Neil Annis, who was executive chef there for several years. As the others have pointed out, his cuisine is delicious. So, although I have not been back since his return, I would have no qualms about recommending Compass.

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            rrems RE: rrems Oct 29, 2007 08:38 AM

            Thanks, everyone. I will plan to go back.

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              idia RE: rrems Oct 29, 2007 02:53 PM

              I have read that line before about the "opera/concert elderly folks crowd" and all I can say is, lead me to any place that they are going to be. To me it is like dining at an Asian restaurant where many Asians frequent or an Italian place where many Italians frequent(you get the idea). Age has granted the elderly a more sophisticated palate in many cases, so don't knock it!
              Compass continues to be a fine dining place on the UWS (and let's face it, there aren't exactly a plethora of those!)

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                rrems RE: rrems Nov 8, 2007 06:47 PM

                Thanks again to all for allaying my fears. I went back to Compass tonight and am happy to report that all is well. It was every bit as good as before the change of chef, and very possibly better. My partner had the beet salad and the veal cheek and I had the $35 prix fixe from which I chose the cured salmon, the roasted hake with brandade, and the chocolate coconut mousse bar. The amuse was a salmon tartare and there was the usual excellent assortment of petits fours. Everything was superb.
                I even found a $30 bottle of wine that was just dandy. Compass continues to be one of the best values for serious food, with always excellent service and a comfortable atmosphere.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rrems
                  r
                  RGR RE: rrems Nov 8, 2007 07:29 PM

                  Thanks for the report, rrems. Glad to hear that Chef Neil Annis hasn't lost his culinary touch. Not that I had any doubts.... :-)

                  1. re: rrems
                    s
                    selizara RE: rrems Nov 9, 2007 06:53 AM

                    So glad I could help! I love Compass so...and I love that I only live a block away.

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