Excellent dinner at Lincoln
Four of us had an excellent meal at Lincoln last night. The interior of the restaurant is a little cold, but the design details are beautiful. There is ample room between tables and a nice
feeling of spaciousness without being as cavernous as Eleven Madison
or del Posto. We sat in a cool banquette on the west side
of the building which looks north out onto Juilliard. The east side
of the building has the better view south onto the reflecting pool in
front of the Vivian Beaumont, but the room does not feel so formal -
it's where I would have lunch, not dinner. The center of the building
houses the open kitchen and an area of tables for walkins. I was
impressed by how good the food was; it's expensive - pastas are in the
20s, mains in the 30s to low 40s (with the exception of the steak for
two at $120), but worth it. The service was excellent, too. Overall,
I'd describe the place as quietly luxurious, without the air of
unctuous self-congratulation that annoyed me about Eleven Madison's
most recent incarnation.
Good pork fat rubbed flatbread and grissini to nibble on when we
sat down, followed by excellent arancini and deep fried olives. Bread
service was inconsistent - wonderful housemade focaccio, but
indifferent sesame and country bread from a bakery in Bensonhurst that
they seemed unduly proud of (served with a great vintage olive oil
from Italy that they were justifiably proud of). We had the sea
scallop (that's right - just one for $24!) which was excellent and the pasta with sea urchin, dungennes crab, hot peppers, and sea
grass - outstanding (and a good sized portion). The chicken was
good, but my veal chop was delicious - and it came with wonderful roast
mushrooms and semolina gnocchi. The four
of us shared the very good eggplant parmesan as a side. Desserts were
really good - tartufo and a chocolate budino with clementine ice cream
that was like the best creamsicle ever. Excellent array of Italian
cookies - including wonderful pignoli, rainbow cookies, and lemon
custards to finish.
Drank a well made Negroni, a delicious Sicilian Frapatto, and a grappa
as a digestive. Wine list is expensive, but decent value can be had.
All in all, we will definitely return. Very cosseting experience with
excellent food, and where else in NYC can you go for a hike on the
roof of the restaurant after your meal?
142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023
I would not describe the food as particularly inventive - but the ingredients are top notch, cooked extremely well, and served in a pleasingly formal, but not stiff manner. The one exception was the pasta dish with crab, sea urchin etc; I haven't been to Marea so sea urchin (one of my favorite things to eat at a sushi bar - best uni I ever had was at the sorely missed honmura an soba shop in soho) pasta was new to me: it was superb - studded with plenty of sweet crab, the slightly musky and rich sea urchin coated the pasta, and the hot peppers added a contrasting spark to the dish. I want to try the foie gras terrine - that sounds pretty interesting.
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019