Mas Farmhouse - Favorite dishes? What to order?
We're finally making it to Mas this weekend. Anything to recommend off the current menu?
I was looking at the $68 prix fixe and both of the fish dishes look uninteresting to me, same for the chicken breast. But the lardon salad and chestnut soup both sound great.
Can you substitute items from the a la carte on the prix fixe, or vice versa?
This dessert sounds fantastic though. Anybody tried it?
"Concord Grape Sorbet with a Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Chocolate-Almond Financier & Green Grape Gelée"
)39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014
We had a nice meal at Mas Farmhouse last night. The service was excellent (friendly, cheerful, but always professional) and has a little bit of a more upscale vibe (coordinated serving and clearing of plates, etc). Overall, it is a nice, cozy place to dine. We got the corner of the banquette in the front room, which provided a little extra bit of comfort and romance. The pillows on the banquette were also cute, as I liked the upscale rustic aesthetic very much. It did seem like the 2-tops at the banquette were rather close together, but pretty standard for Manhattan nowadays. The noise level was just fine -- not too quiet, not too loud.
The cocktail list looked pretty standard (sazerac, gin & tonic, manhattan, etc) so didn't try anything off of there as nothing jumped out. Only one or two drinks seemed to have a seasonal component, and one of them was just infusing vodka with something else. I'd rather go to Little Branch, Fatty Cue, Employees Only, or Pegu Club for drinks before dinner at Mas.
We were only moderately hungry and had a really hard time choosing what to order, and none of the items on the $68 prix fixe appealed, so we went with the a la carte menu. It is very nice how flexible they are about the prix fixe vs a la carte, where every dish is available to all diners, regardless. Our server described the prix fixe as the "daily specials" which is an interesting approach to a menu, as many places will choose to put the more standard/boring regular items in their prix fixe, and leave the more interesting ones for the a la arte. Another thing I appreciated: the entire table does NOT have to do the same format. Despite this, we both chose to order a la carte. .
I must note that their butter was phenomenal. Source from Vermont, served perfectly room temperature, with a very generous scoop in a ramekin. It was almost cheese-like in taste, and wonderfully creamy. I think they may use the same butter that Gramercy Tavern uses. I chose a French roll. My husband chose sourdough. We both swooned over how good the butter was. They offered another piece, but we declined, trying to save room. I think the only thing missing was a dish of Maldon sea salt at the table (in retrospect, I should have just asked for one, but I was too busy having a moment with the butter).
The amuse bouche was also exquisite. A square of sunchoke gratin, cooked in a similar manner to potato gratin, with tiny fried sunchoke chips sprinkled on top. Creamy, flavorful, and I wanted much more than a small one-inch square to eat. If only!
We shared two appetizers: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with House-Made Lamb Bacon, Deviled Quail Egg, Confit Butternut Squash & Shaved Pecorino and the Heirloom Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart, Baked on a Parmesan Sablée with a Pine Nut Dressing. Both were great. The housemade lamb bacon was super smoky and a little sweet, and paired quite nightly with the shaved pecorino, and tiny bits of orange peel here and there. The citrus, smoky, savory combination was fabulous, especially since it really paired well with the slight bitterness of the brussels sprouts. The heirloom tomato was also very good, and gorgeous to look at, with the colors of the green, yellow, and red tomato slices. It was really more of a freeform tomato salad on top of a parmesan crust, crispy and full of umami flavor. Plus the pinenut dressing really brought it all together.
For the mains, my husband's Butternut Risotto in a Jack B’Little Pumpkin with Grilled Chanterelle Mushrooms & Parmesan Foam was good, but a huge portion, and very filling. The presentation of the dish was adorable after I realized that the whole pumpkin on his plate was actually edible and cooked through completely. The risotto had a good texture but was a little runnier than I prefer my risotto to be. I think the only thing it really lacked was any sort of textural contrast, as it was a lot of soft foods together. My husband declared it perfect and finished most of it.
I had the Roasted Lobster Tail & Poached Lobster Claw, Ricotta Gnocchi, Baby Spinach & Cauliflower in a Leek Cream. The tail and claw were cooked perfectly. Barely opaque, and not an overly-chewy morsel in sight. I applaud their excellent cooking technique! I can't recall the last time I had such perfectly cooked lobster. The gnocchi were interesting as well. They'd been toasted (or sauteed?) to be slightly browned, and when cut open, revealed creamy ricotta mixed with herbs (dill, I think), which was nice, but didn't seem to impart any real flavor. There was also cauliflower, leek creamy, and sauteed spinach on the plate, but I was struggling to taste any real flavor from those as well. All the components were good on their own but they didn't really combine in a way to elevate the dish. It sounded so great on paper but the ingredients didn't really came together, unfortunately. I also think the lobster dish would have benefited with a tiny bit more salt.
We were stuffed and didn't have any dessert. But I adored the black mint marshmallow petit fours they served before the check.
I look forward to coming back and trying more of the menu, as we did love the bread, amuse, appetizers, and petit fours. I think perhaps the mains are just a little weaker than the other items at Mas. The prices were also quite a bit gentler than I anticipated. Our check came out to less than $100 before tax and tip (no drinks).
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
22 Seventh Ave South, New York, NY 10014
510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012
I visited Mas about a month ago and it was wonderful. For the $68 prix fixe option you can combine anything on the menu to create your own four-course meal.
I had the chestnut soup to start, which I highly recommend. My friend had the heirloom tomato and caramelized onion tart, which was very good too but I personally preferred my soup. I've tried both the salmon and the bass, as well as the lobster. I really liked the two fish dishes, but if they look uninteresting to you I would recommend maybe the lobster and the lamb? My friend had the lamb and raved about it.
I must say that dessert was the best part of my meal. I had the warm fig cornmeal tart and WOW. Seriously..the best dessert I've had in a long time. I also thought it was pretty unique, never tasted anything like it before. The only negative is that I've been craving it ever since..
Enjoy your meal this weekend! Hope to hear about your experience afterwards!
39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014
Good to hear you are headed to MAS. Unfortunately the menu has changed since we were there last but I had a variation of the smoked trout appetizer and loved it. GF had the beet salad and liked it alot.
I do remember they were VERY accommodating with requests to change things up so I don't think that will be an issue.
If you drink (and I think I remember that you do) you should try some of their cocktails made with seriously fresh ingredients.