Date Spot: Millesime
As usual, full review and photos on the blog: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...
Everyone has different views about what constitutes a great date spot. Some like it formal, some like it casual, some like it trendy. Everyone is different. But I do like Millesime as a date spot for a few specific reasons even before getting to the food.
1. It's in a nice location. It's in the Carlton Hotel in the Midtown/Murray Hill area. There's a nice lounge downstairs as well.
2. It's on Savored. That means 20% off food and drink, although an 18% pre-discount gratuity is added.
3. Its brasserie decor can be considered both a casual and upscale setting.
4. It's not full. Been there on Saturday nights with no problem getting a table on short notice. Good for those without time to make elaborate plans while not wanting to wait an hour plus for a table like at many other places.
Regardless of whether those points appeal to you, the food is actually quite nice.
LE PLATEAU NORMAL
Serves 2-3 according to the menu, it features 3 East coast oysters, 3 West coast oysters, 3 Cherrystone clams, 3 Littleneck clams, 4 large shrimp cocktail, and about 6 small mussels. It comes with 3 sauces, tiny bottles of tabasco (awesome!), and lemon wedges. The platter also comes with toasted bread and a tasty red wine butter spread. Not bad for $40 in a hotel restaurant.
One of the signature dishes of the restaurant, this play on a Caesar salad features grilled romaine, smoked cod, parmesan, and lime. While I'm not a huge fan of the presentation, the flavors were nice and clean. I'm sure it's better when the romaine is in season. The third portion is hard to split between two people though.
It's getting harder and harder to find classics these days. Two decent-sized pike quenelles, with a pleasant smooth texture, are simmered in a delicate lobster sauce.
In addition to their regular menu, they have a chef's table as well as a $1 Oyster Happy Hour on weeknights.
I don't see it on their current menu but I had their pot au feu(which I heard is Laurent's speciality) which was out of this world. really rich, complex and delicious, a dish my husband and i still talk about.
Their tuna tartare was also good and I tried other small dishes I don't quite remember but were all good. Their seafood tower was good and fresh. I wasn't too crazy about their cooked fish dishes but i'd give them another try.