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A Fantastic Meal at Simone

dzop Nov 23, 2013 09:55 PM

Have you ever seen a really perfectly preserved photograph of the past, one so vivid and clear that it makes it feel real and immediate; and for a second, the chasm of time between you and that era falls away, and it is there for you to touch?

That is what dinner at Simone, newly opened on the UES, is like. The food is American, the kind you remember from the heyday of the Hudson River Club or An American place. Except now, with everyone else zigging into whateverthehell Nordic, this food is once again exciting and vibrant - and it always was delicious. Perfectly fried sweetbreads with carrots, still firm and textural, and onions. A tuna tartare served with - is that Apple-parsnip purée?

The restaurant is small. There are tablecloths. There is an impeccable wine list; mainly Neal Rosenthal imports, but well chosen.

There are none of the contemporary shortcuts. The duck main comes with three different preparations and 4 different root vegetable purees. The scallop portion is enormous, the leeks and fennel braised till they meld. The salmon is served with the startling juxtaposition of burnt Brussels (not all the food is a flashback) and sweet beets. It sounds like it would clash with the dill speztle. It works, fantastically.

It is, in a nutshell, exactly what you remember a really good NYC dining experience being before it was driven by PR. There was more soul on one plate than I had in my entire tasting menu at Battersby, or in dinner at Nomad.

It was not cheap. It was totally worth it. To hell with the jerkoffs who ruined NYC fine dining.

  1. j
    JC2 Nov 27, 2013 07:46 AM

    Simone or Il Ristorante Rosi? which would you choose?

    2 Replies
    1. re: JC2
      dzop Dec 1, 2013 04:17 AM

      Apples and oranges. Both are excellent, IMO. Neither is cheap. FWIW, I had my first mediocre meal, ever, at west-side-Rosi the other week. Not sure how relevant that is, given that they're serving $15 lasagna squares...

      1. re: dzop
        JC2 Dec 23, 2013 10:47 AM

        we ended up going to Rosi. It was fine. Not fabulous, and as you say, not cheap. Simone people were very nice. Even emailed me a menu when I said I couldn't find one on line. It is good that UES is getting better, still not great.

    2. ellenost Nov 25, 2013 03:50 AM

      Great to have another chow-worthy restaurant in my neighborhood. Thanks for your report.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ellenost
        gavspen Nov 25, 2013 09:38 AM

        I cant find a website for this place. In this day and age, a restaurant opens without a website? How's that possible?

        1. re: gavspen
          Spiritchaser Nov 25, 2013 10:17 AM

          Actually I've seen this happening a lot recently; Wallflower still doesn't have a website up and running. It is crazy when you think about it.

          1. re: Spiritchaser
            gavspen Nov 26, 2013 08:44 AM

            Yes. It is.

            And you dont even have to think about it much to reach that conclusion. ;-)

          2. re: gavspen
            squid kun Dec 21, 2013 08:59 PM

            There's a website: http://www.thesimonerestaurant.com/

            And a Chow heads-up too: http://www.chow.com/food-news/144551/...

        2. g
          GaryUES Nov 24, 2013 09:13 PM

          Where is it? It's not listed om menupages.

          3 Replies
          1. re: GaryUES
            squid kun Nov 24, 2013 10:26 PM

            151 E. 82nd (near Lex). More info ... http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/11/fir...

            1. re: squid kun
              foodwhisperer Nov 25, 2013 09:01 PM

              It's in the Old "old school" Girasole space.

            2. re: GaryUES
              dzop Nov 25, 2013 08:40 AM

              I couldnt believe these guys were on Yelp or Menupages yet - I wanted to leave them a postive review. They're delightfully old school. Thankfully, I suspect they're in the one neighborhood that can nuture a place that isn't using shiny objects to attract its clientele.

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