Charlie Palmer

We originally had reservations elsewhere for Restaurant Week but a last minute meeting left us scrambling to find last minute reservations in the Midtown area. A thorough search led us to Charlie Palmer Steakhouse, which had several openings. We arrived just on time for our reservation but were told that they were clearing up a few tables. After a few minutes, we were led to a table-for-four right by the window, which was nice.

Our waiter came by to drop off the menu and asked if we’d like to see the wine list, which we did. Wine prices were decent and I had a very nice glass of Riesling to go with my meal. We all opted to do the Restaurant Week menu, which offers three choices for appetizer and entrée and two choices for dessert.

For my appetizer, I opted for the Steak Tartare, which is served with a quail egg, gaufrette potatoes and whole grain mustard. I really enjoyed my steak tartare – it was lightly seasoned and the mustard provided a nice kick to the steak. My only complaint is that I wish there was more!

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My sister and mom both ordered the Butternut Squash Soup with winter spices, green apples, and chive. I took a few sips of the soup and I thought it was quite good. The green apples and squash cubes provided a crunchy mouth feel.

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For my entrée, I decided to do steak on steak and went for the Double Ranch Flank Steak with truffled potatoes and red wine jus. I ordered it medium rare and I think it came out a little closer to medium, but it wasn’t a huge problem. There was still a nice pink center and I really enjoyed the truffled potatoes. It was a solid steak.

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My mom ordered the Pan Seared Salmon with braised leaks, fingerling potatoes, and meyer lemon emulsion. The salmon was tender and moist, and paired really well with the leak and lemon sauce. If I didn’t have my heart set on the steak, I would’ve definitely ordered the salmon.

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For dessert, we all opted for the Cheesecake Pudding with graham cracker crumbs and raspberries on top. I actually really liked this dessert because you still get to have cheesecake without it being super filling and heavy. I paired my dessert with a cup of coffee (extra $4.00), which helped to tone down the sweetness of the pudding.

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Service was fairly attentive. Two mangers stopped by during our meal to check up on us and make sure we were enjoying our meals, which was nice. I don’t think Charlie Palmer is the best steak I’ve ever had, but it is definitely a solid steakhouse. If you’re ever in the area and strapped for a dinner spot, give Charlie Palmer a try!

Restaurant Week – Delmonico’s

Delmonico’s has been on my radar for a while now so when my mom mentioned she’d like to have dinner during Restaurant Week, I quickly made reservations on OpenTable. The restaurant has a lot of history – dating back to 1837. It’s credited as the 1st American restaurant to allow its customers to order a la carte, instead of prix fixe. The building itself is a site to behold – it’s on the corner and the restaurant takes up the entire bottom floor. At first glance, it might be easy to walk past it. But once you’re inside the restaurant, it’s like you’ve been transferred to another much older world. You feel like you’ve walked into another time!

Our waiter came by with menus, explained the Restaurant Week menu and left us to peruse our options. Delmonico’s menu is pretty similar to other Restaurant Week menus – there are three options for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. There are three addition options for both appetizers and entrees with supplements. If you want one of their more classic dishes like Lobster Newburg or Delmonico’s Steak, you have to pay extra.

Both my sister and I opted for the Chef’s Chilled Soup of the Day since it was so hot outside (boarding around 95 degrees). The soup of the day was a Butternut Squash with lobster chunks. It was so good – it wasn’t very cold, which was nice. The butternut squash was strong and nutty, which mixed well with the lightly salted lobster. I think this was my favorite dish of the night.

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My mom went with the Gulf Shrimp Risotto with heirloom tomatoes, charred corn and basil.  I liked her risotto but I’m not a huge fan of corn in my risotto. The portion was decent for an appetizer.
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For our mains, both my sister and I had the 8-ounce Filet Mignon with chef’s seasonal vegetables. The filet mignon is only available for the dinner menu for Restaurant Week. I’m a huge fan of filet mignon – it’s probably my cut of choice because I don’t like big, meaty steaks. I don’t like to saw through a huge steak so this was perfect for me. The portion size is generous and cooked to my requested medium-rare. The sides were green beans and fingerling potatoes, which are two of my favorite steak sides. Both were very tasty. The combination of steak juices and the potato sauce made for a great dipping for my steak.
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My mom went with the Grilled Striped Bass with maitake mushrooms, sauce Americain, marble potatoes, and Maine lobster. The portion size was very generous and my mom couldn’t even finish her dish. The Maine lobster was a nice garnish to the striped bass and everything blended well together.
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For dessert, we ordered all three so we could try them all. My mom ordered the New York Style Cheesecake with strawberry compote (pictured first). My sister ordered the Dark Chocolate Mousse with salted caramel sauce (pictured second). I opted to pay the $6 supplement and try their famous Classic Baked Alaska with walnut cake, banana gelato, apricot jam and meringue (pictured last).
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The Dark Chocolate Mousse was my favorite – there was a nice crunch at the bottom of the mousse. The dark chocolate was nice because it cut the sweetness of the mousse. The Baked Alaska was a bit underwhelming – I found it a bit too sweet. And I have a sweet tooth so if I think it’s too sweet, that’s saying something! It’s also a huge portion so it’s definitely sharable.

Service was attentive throughout dinner and all our dishes came out very quickly. We barely waited 5 minutes between courses. I didn’t particularly feel rushed but it did end up being a quick dinner. Delmonico’s is a very classic and well-oiled steakhouse. I’d probably return again to try out their classic Delmonico’s steak with sides (I spied them on the table next to us!).

Quality Meats

Since the Boyfriend and I were planning a date day, we decided to take advantage of the last day of Restaurant Week and try a something new. Our first choice, Café Boulud, was completely booked, so we opted for our second choice, Quality Meats, instead. Quality Meats belongs to the son of the owner of Smith & Wollensky so we knew we were in for a treat.

We arrived about 15 minutes before our reservation and they were able to accommodate us almost right away. Despite it’s small appearance from the outside, the inside is extremely big. There are about 2 levels of dining tables – all very strategically placed.

Quality Meats offers 4 appetizer choices, 5 entrée choices, and 5 ice cream flavors on their Restaurant Week menu. Most of the choices are featured on their dinner menu. After we placed our order, our waiter brought over some cast-iron baked bread, which was pretty good. I like that it’s baked to order so you’re always guaranteed fresh bread.

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After we finished our bread, our appetizers arrived. The Boyfriend went with the Traditional Steak Tartare, which is served with just an egg yoke. You’re given salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and onions to create a tartare that is to your own liking. We used all the ingredients except for the Tabasco and created a very delicious tartare! The beef was fresh and everything tasted very good together.

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I opted for the Seared Diver Scallops on top of Corn Chowder. The scallops were so delicious – they were cooked to perfection and had a nice sear on all sides. The scallops almost melted in my mouth! The corn chowder was also very pleasant. It was refreshing and had a great summer feel.

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For his entrée, the Boyfriend went with the Open-faced Shrimp Salad Sandwich, which comes with a side salad and waffle fries. Holy moly! The sandwich was huge! By the time he was halfway through, he started to just eat the shrimp salad because eating the bread too would’ve been too much. The shrimp was abundant and the salad was very light – there wasn’t too much mayo at all.

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I went with the Hanger Steak with brandied cherries, which I requested medium rare. The steak was indeed, medium rare. I love it when my steak is cooked right! The brandied cherries gave the steak a sweet flavor, which was very different. I thought the steak was very good – the portion is also very generous.

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For dessert, they offer 5 flavors of their Dressed Up Scoops. I went with the Matcha Mango Bubble Tea. The scoop was a huge portion! It comes with a thin strip of mango and tiny tapioca cubes to mimic bubble tea. The matcha was very prominent and the ice cream was super creamy.

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The Boyfriend went with the Orange Creamsicle and there was a thin strip of orange on the top! The ice cream tasted exactly like an orange creamsicle, which brought back memories of childhood summers. We both thoroughly liked this one – it even had oranges on the bottom!

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The service was prompt and attentive. We opted for the house wine pairing for an extra $5 in addition to the Restaurant Week menu and we were given a taste before agreeing on the wine. The wine, despite being only $5, was pretty good and we received a generous pour. I also loved how Quality Meats gives you the normal portion despite the fact that you’re paying a lot less. What a great show of care towards the customer!