Friday, July 23, 2010

Glorious seafood lunch at Anthos

Skate WingImage by FotoosVanRobin via Flickr

Two men were walking past Anthos on West 52nd Street in Manhattan just before noon today when one said to the other, "She planned the entire trip around food. It's sort of funny." Funny? I'd say it's admirable.

I was cooling my heels outside the restaurant waiting for 11:45 a.m., when I had a reservation for lunch, on the last day of Restaurant Week. (Many restaurants in the city will continue to offer a $24.07 lunch through Labor Day.)

The staff was running a little late, and the bar still held an open newspaper, and an empty glass and bottle. Two women ahead of me were seated at a table near the window. I was by myself and ended up against the rear wall.

After I received a glass of tap water, I waited and then waited some more as other customers were seated nearby. Finally, a waiter apologized and handed me the menu, saying he thought a second person would be joining me.

I ordered, and he offered me one of three rolls: plain, olive or whole wheat. I asked for all three, and he obliged, then brought me some olive oil for dipping to replace the butter I said I don't use.

Anthos offers "new Greek cuisine." First, I received a little salmon tartare, with mint yogurt, dill, and a bit of orange, a gift from the chef.

My appetizer was crudo -- tender, raw fluke with strips of ginger, more bits of orange and dill. For my entree, I chose skate wing (photo) served over couscous and under a little salad. The white-meat skate was lightly breaded and roasted in a pan. It was thick, moist and delicious.

I finished with roasted peaches and shortbread, but asked the waiter not to bring me the accompanying vanilla ice cream. The meal left me feeling full and contented. With a 15% tip, I rounded up the bill to $30. 

This was my third $24.07 lunch in two weeks, so American Express will give me a $15 statement credit, bringing the cost of each of these excellent lunches to $25, including, tax and tip.

Walking back to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, I encountered police closing a portion of Eighth Avenue because of a bomb scare. I stopped at Starbucks for black coffee and sat in the window to watch the fascinating parade of tourists and New Yorkers strutting by.

Anthos, 36 W. 52nd St., New York, N.Y.; 212-582-6900.

Anthos New Greek Cuisine
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