Allen & Delancey Delivers
The family all got together for dinner at Allen & Delancey this past Satrday. Our reservations were for 6:00 and we walked in as the first people in the restaurant. Now I had been in here once before but only for a drink at the bar.
The back is absolutely stunning. I loved walking through the heavy red velvet curtains to reveal exposed brick and a ton of candles! Incredibly romantic. I would describe the style as refined bohemian. If that could be a style :)
We placed our order while sipping some great cocktails and then our bread arrived.
Oh my goodness the bread is divine! They said it was baked to order right out of the oven. They gave us two pieces, one regular white roll and one bacon and sage.
I ripped into the bacon and sage and steam wafted up into the air. The top had a nice crispy coating of salt and butter while the insides were soft and so fresh! It really doesn’t get much better than freshly baked bread.
We had finished our cocktails and decided to move onto wine for the rest of or meal. We were split on ordering red or white so we decided to get a bottle of each. We had a couple of ideas in mind but asked the sommelier for some assistance.
The sommelier was wonderful. He listened to our requests intently and then gave a couple of his picks based on what we ordered.
Get this- He recommended a red that was $20 cheaper than the one we had asked him about. It was a Spanish wine, the 2006 Petalos and it was fabulous! We had had some snooty service from some other sommeliers in the city and this was a welcome change.
Then our appetizers arrived. I ordered the Sea Scallops which came with a bacon cream sauce, cipollini onions and verjus. The scallops were huge and cooked so that the middle was a little raw which I enjoy. I thought the flavor of the bacon cream sauce with the sour verjus was very interesting. It was a completely different spin on a classic scallop dish that I really enjoyed.
For our mains I ordered the Colorado Lamb Chops Persillade, Braised Middle Neck and Potato puree.
Now I know lamb is fatty but this was a really fatty piece. That being said, the rest of the dish completely made up for it. The garlic and parsley crust on the lamb was excellent and the braised middle neck was really moist.
The best part were the potatoes that reminded me exactly of the potatoes they serve at Gramercy Tavern! More like a potato smoothie…yum!!!!!
I tried a bite of the other dishes which were all good but I have to say the Fluke with Cauliflower Cream was amazing! I’m not sure what they did but the little bite I tried was packed with flavor.
The only dish that I didn;t really like was the Cabbage Beef and Onions. The onions and cabbage were delicious but the beef itself had a strange flavor to it. We asked what it was cooked in and the waitress said just the cabbage.
Huh..Not sure what it was but I didn’t really care for it.
I was stuffed at this point but I always make room for dessert!
I ordered a macchiato (which was one of the best I have ever had btw) and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, malted milk sorbet and Whiskey Vanilla shake.
This dessert was good. The tart was a classic chocolate peanut butter tart and the shake was a great accompaniment to the richness of the chocolate.
I tried a bite of Mr. T’s dessert the Sweet Cream French Toast with Oatmeal Ice cream and Caramelized Banana. It was really good. I’m a sucker for a caramelized banana!
Then the check came and this was just something else that I thought was nice.
As the waitress handed us the check she said “Just so you know the gratuity is already included since you’re a party of six”.
Now this might not seem like a lot but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve probably left double the tip after a long extravagant meal filled with wine and cocktails. And especially in this place where the low lighting makes it difficult to read the bill it was just a wonderful consideration at the end.
Allen and Delancey really impressed me overall.
On the way out I mentioned to the sommelier how much I enjoyed the wine he had suggested and he took the time to write down the name and year so I could buy some at home. What a great meal!
My one small complaint would only be the lack of bathrooms. I believe there was only a single one for the entire restaurant and bar. I had to wait about 15 minutes on our way out just to get in. But overall just a really pleasant experience with the family.
nice report. i agree on most points of yours...especially the bathroom situation. i also think the service declines when the place is in full operation around 8-9pm but i deal with it because they're generally friendly. the front of the house is particularly excellent.
and i actually loved the cabbage beef and onion and only slightly enjoyed my lamb entree...i felt the lamb chop was way too chewy for medium rare.
id say the beef was sort of like a pot roast with the consistency of good quality shortribs. i thought that dish was inventive and absolutely delicious...especially the smoked potato gratin.
the appetizers ive had were the rabbit terrine which was quite good and the sweetbread raviolo which was also quite delicious.
dessert was okay but ive had better.
I had a very good experience here this week. Highlights were those bacon-sage dinner rolls and the marrow appetizer which has taken its place on my "best dishes of the year" list. The marrow is served without the bone, by the way. Amazing incredible lushness!
I also had the lamb main..excellent but did not scale the heights. My chop was not tough in the least. I liked this place very much; agree that service is very friendly.
I also really enjoyed my meal here this past week...there are some very interesting dishes (the "pickled" appetizer, the potato/ham/truffle dish) and some nice solid main courses (the lamb, and the fluke). The space is nice-it's relaxing and pleasant and I even liked the music (which I usually hate in a restaurant)-and everyone is very nice.
The bathroom is a problem...but the sum of the parts is very nice. One note-we were there early on Sunday evening, and there weren't many dining there at that hour-you could probably drop in if you were interested.
We went to A&D last night after reading and hearing a lot about it and were underwhelmed. The atmosphere was certainly very beautiful and romantic but the food (which was what we were particularly interested in) was nothing distinctive. We had the fingerling salad, veal scaloppine, scallops, and beef/cabbage/onion. The preparation and presentation were fine, but the flavors just did not jump out in any particularly memorable way. The drinks (we tried an Allen and a Delancey) were good.
Admittedly I skipped the signature bone marrow because I wasn't feeling the need for such a rich dish, but based on the level of commentary on this board I was expecting almost anything on the menu to be excellent.
Unfortunately almost every restaurant has its outstanding dishes and its more ordinary ones. Those who are less adventurous can order the more ordinary dishes, but if you want to be wowed you have to go for the more creative ones. I had the bone marrow and the pork belly and was in heaven.