Trip report: Atera, Momofuku Ssam, and more
I'd like to thank all the chowhounders for the information provided and that helped me choose the places I've been on this late May trip to NYC.
It was my first time at Atera and I was really impressed. We arrived earlier than our dinner reservation so that we could have a cocktail at the Lounge, and I can say that Brandon Duff rocks. I loved the Ruby one, with beets and gin, my companion R had one with whiskey that was also excellent.The Lounge is very intimate and the music is exactly what I like, loved listening to LCD Soundsystem and Beach House there. At 9 pm we were called to go upstairs. R and I decided not to have a wine/cocktails pairing and asked for another round of cocktails (I ordered the Ruby one again and R had a tequila one that he loved) and after a bottle of Roger Pouillon champagne. The amuse bouches were very good, particularly the beer foam macaron with caviar, sunchoke cannoli and the swordfish belly. Then came the dishes, which were terrific.I liked most the Santa Barbara uni with sweet potato, the squab and the rack of lamb, although the sepias with chicken bouillon and aspargus with sp inach were very good. R had hake instead of squab and he liked it a lot. My favorite desset was the brocken egg ice cream with egg yolk jam. We also had rhubarb with sheep's milk yougurt, walnut sundae and celery root, bourbon cask ice cream. The music was also amazing with Bowie, Talking Heads, Rolling Stones.The service was excellent and chef Matt Lightner was very nice, I want to go back.
We managed going to Madison Square Eats, its initiative is fantastic. I had the Red Hook lobster roll that was good (although my favorite continues to be Pearl's, with Luke's on second place), R had the pulled pork roll from Mason Jar and we shared some pasta from Sunday Gravy. Unhappily, we didn't have room for Roberta's pizza.
We ended up going to our 3 all time favorite places in NYC. My number one continues to be Momofuku Ssam Bar, we had as usual the pork buns, the uni was delicious, then the softshell crab tempura and then the sausages and rice cakes that we both love. The lemon pie and pistachio was very good. Music good as always. We went to The Breslin and had the lamb burgers, also tried the Death's Door Gin and Tonic that was very good. The Spotted Pig's burger was as good as I remember, we also had the chicken liver toast and bloody marys, and also a Hendrick's g and t.
We went to Lafayette on a saturday night, R would have rather gone in a weekday due to the loudness of the room and some of the folks there. The food was good but not great. R and I shared the foie gras terrine that was good, then he had the octopus as appetizer and I had the steak tartare that was good. As mains, I had a special of the day braised short ribs ravioli that I liked and he had the lamb chops that were just ok. The cocktails were good, R had a Manhattan and I had a Sazerac.
Keen's steakhouse was excellent.R had Bloody Marys, I had one dry martini and then a Sazerac, that were very good. We had beausoleil oysters, lobster salad, mutton chop and rib eye steak, everything delicious. The carrot cake was one of the best I've ever eaten. I had an Arran single malt, but I would gladly stay there forever enjoying their single malt selection. A must-go restaurant.
We liked Uncle Boons a lot. Everything we had was very good: beef cheeks curry, grilled pork spare reebs, sweetbreads were fantastic, spicy roasted chicken and banana blossom salad. Lots of things to try more, especially the pork offal soup.
Lure Fish Bar was good, in spite of being short of time, we had some cocktails, little neck clams, blue point oysters, shrimp cocktail, hamachi carpaccio. I would like to go back to try more things.
At Cata, we made a quick stop. R had the ginger G and T and I had the lavender one, liked the G and T selection a lot. We had razor clams a la plancha and we liked them.
At Chelsea Market we went to Lobster Place, having a huge steamed lobster, a delicious fresh Santa Barbara sea urchin and some Malaspina, St Simon and Barnstable oysters, I could have eaten lots of the sea urchins, it was extremely good.
We went to Milk and Honey, loved the staff, decor and of course, the cocktails. I had a version of Sidecar and Sazerac with lots of absinthe, R had a white negroni and Manhattan. The music was very good as well, having cocktails and listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller is always good.
Attaboy was also excellent.We had Sazerac, Whiskey Sour, Negroni and Manhattan. This is a cocktail bar I would be happy to live nearby.
We also went to Pouring Ribbons, and we had lots of their cocktails, I loved them a lot, and the bartenders were very nice. Another bar I would be a regular.
Thanks for reading this post!
Hope to be back soon. Cheers!
Great report. I had an AMAZING dinner tonight at Atera. This was my third visit in 10 months, and my favorite. Food is exceptionally creative and delicious. Upscale Chef's counter seating. Service is very friendly and polished. Chef Matt is very kind. He's very "hands on" with the food. Only negative is that Atera is following the Alinea/Next model of selling non-refundable tickets. I waited and was watching reservation availability since they have only one solo spot for each service. I lucked out that the reservation that I wanted was still available this morning so I bought my ticket. Very happy with my dinner. Definitely plan to return.