Trip Report: Ma Peche, Maialino (breakfast), Sushi Yasuda, Lincoln
First off, I wanted to thank ellenost and the rest of the nyc hounds for their help with my planning. Chowhound has really become a perfect resource when looking for food when traveling.
Some brief comments...
Ma Peche: Interesting flavors, unusual room (very tall, kind of modern, great music). Staff was very young and a little awkward. Not rude or unhelpful, just not very polished. Had a good meal, although I wouldn't describe it as life-changing. Had been planning on Ko on a future trip, now not so sure. Great brussel sprouts. Crack pie alright.
Maialino: Read some great reviews regarding the breakfast and was not let down. An Italian breakfast place is kind of silly as most of my Italian friends don't eat very much breakfast (coffee and cigarettes mainly). So, maybe this is what Italians would eat if they did eat breakfast. Very relaxing space (airy, nice views of gramercy park) with excellent staff (Meyer still has the customer service thing figured out). The food was great and the coffee even better. Would highly recommend the eggs with pecorino and black pepper.
Sushi Yasuda: Was worried that the staff would be rude based on the reviews. They were very specific that I show up on time and that I would only be able to sit at the bar for 90 minutes. Not a great start when making the reservation, however it ended up being a great meal. The chef I had preparing my omakase was very communicative and the quality of the fish was amazing. If someone is looking for fusion (foie gras and truffles on their sushi) or americanized rolls (avocado and inside out rolls) this is the wrong place. Highlights were the scallop and the uni. The experience of eating sushi that is prepared with just the right amount of wasabi on a perfect pad of rice painted with the in house made soy sauce was very special.
Lincoln: Sort of conflicted about this place. The location is amazing, the restaurant beautiful, and the food expertly prepared. The gnocci were transcendent. However, I left feeling like it could have been better. Maybe Italian doesn't match well with the space or the chef. I associate pasta with love and comfort, not with a grass roofed glass box filled with modern furniture. The portion sizes were right on, the wine list was great (if a little top heavy), even the pastry chef was on...it just felt a little sterile. They also have to figure out how to keep the pre-theater crowd (likely a large part of their business) and the per se crowd happy. One wants a 1hr meal, the other a 3 hour dining experience. I guess it is still a work in progress.
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023
Speaking of Ma Peche...I noticed the menu has some new additions that I must try. In particular, asparagus, foie terrine and the return of the pork chop! Also, the dessert options now include three (gasp!) different choices. Having had nothing but good experiences here, I feel that the food at Ma Peche rivals Ssam Bar in its prime. Chef Ho has found his stride and the ease of reservations makes this my current favorite of the all the Momofuku's.
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
Just returned from another splendid lunch at Ma Peche. I had the tatsoi salad that I find very refreshing with slices of pear. Had the still amazing sliced pork rib chop. Don't know how Ma Peche gets the pork to be both so flavorful and tender. Corn cookie for dessert. Best way to spend $25. BTW, new refrigerator is being delivered tomorrow so I'm glad Ma Peche was able to get me through another day of no refrigerator.