I want to start this post off with a couple of notes and admissions...
The pictures are not fabulous, I know this. But to be fair, it was my first time taking pictures in a restaurant and oh man its hard! You don't want to annoying to your fellow diners, you don't want to annoy the establishment, you have to deal with the lighting (or more to the point, lack thereof), you have to deal with a possibly wobbly table (which we had), and you have to deal with lack of angles since you can't just pop up and moves everything around until its perfect.
I'm not a huge fan of restaurant reviews in blogs. If I don't live in your city or town and have no plans to be there shortly, it just sort of feels like some kind of foodie torture you know? Oh really, it was hands down the best risotto you have ever had in your life? That's awesome except you're in Chicago and I'm in Brooklyn! Not fair.
Since I had absolutely no hand in prepping or even buying the items for the meal, I feel sort of like I'm cheating here. I think I'll get over this one though.
It's restaurant "week" in NYC right now. I use the term "week" lightly since in fact its more like month, but that's neither here nor there. What is important is that some of the best eateries in all of New York are offering pre-fixe menus for lunch at $24.07 and dinner at $35.00. Thanks to years past I've been able to eat at places that would have otherwise cost me a few month's salary.
I went to Quality Meats, a place in midtown near my office, with a couple of ladies from my office. We chose Quality partially because the menu looked wonderful, but also partially because all of our bosses take their clients to lunch there and we wanted to know what all the fuss was about. The appeal was almost immediate... there is no fuss. That's whats so damn nice about it. No silly frilly decor, nothing pretentious, no techno or oddly Japanese-like or is it Indian, music playing. Nope, just a place with exposed brick, comfy wooded chairs, and some wonderful lighting, which sadly didn't photograph well.
Our App choices were a Cesar salad, a butternut squash soup with gingerbread croutons (great idea that, I'll have to borrow it), and steak tartar. Never one to pass up raw meat and eggs, I chose the tartar and I'm so glad I did. It was probably the tastiest steak tartar I've ever had and I'm sorry to my fellow Chicago foodies who won't be having it tonight.
For main the options were: grilled chicken salad (boring), skirt steak with brandied cherries (which one of us had, it was nice if not a little too sweet), and baby back ribs. Now I had originally thought about the steak, but my waitress convinced me otherwise - she was right. These ribs were fantastic! They had a spicy Thai rub on them and were doused in honey. They were sticky, tender, sweet, and spicy. So damn good. I just might have to go back for those someday.
Desserts were cute. They make their own ice creams over there and I chose "Coffee & Donuts" not entirely sure what I would be getting. It happened to be coffee ice cream, with chocolate donut pieces, and chocolate sprinkles... a mini chocolate donut on top. I really don't have to tell you that it was clever and charming and delicious, but I will. What a fun idea and there is nothing as yummy as homemade ice cream. All in all, it was a very happy tummy day.