Friday, August 26, 2011

Lyonnaise Birthday

I went to Lyon, initially, to see an old friend from my BLT days who is now the lead chef. But he was out of town on vacation. That was fine. It was a birthday celebration regardless, with plenty of meat to go around. Duck wings--three of them--arrived with a sticky, salty glaze, just as addictive as the smaller, more precious Buffalo variety. A charcuterie platter featured chewy beef salami, lamb pate, country pate, blood sausage, spicy mustard, grain mustard, pickled cauliflower, and cornichons. Onion soup was everything we wanted and more--a crouton thick with cheese and bone marrow, a broth with beef and onions and strings of braised brisket. And a truffle inflected hot dog, served with sauerkraut and mustard on a soft pretzel, was a meal in and of itself.

Entrees were a little less uplifting. A special of mussels and French fries was not only woefully undersalted but also a little too redolent of the ocean. They smelled and tasted a little old, regrettably. Steak tartare was a true winner, salty and creamy and filled with capers that popped in the mouth. But the bechamel on a baked dish of macaroni and cheese wasn't quite the soft and supple creamy I craved.

And even though I found the mission fig tart for dessert a little dry, an ice cream sundae, threaded with toasted coconut clusters and sour cherries, made up the difference. We got a lot for our money and if I happened to live in the West Village, I might find myself stumbling in every few nights for a plate of those wings and a hot dog.

118 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10011

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