Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chicken livers, whole fish and all that jazz

Time Warner Center and Columbus Circle, Manhat...Image via Wikipedia
They didn't think of everything. After dinner and jazz at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, you have to cross the street to reach the subway.


Crowds. Noise. Great food and service.

That sums up our experience on Saturday night at Landmarc, a restaurant in Manhattan's Time Warner Center, where our last course was a rousing jazz concert.

The dining room overlooking Columbus Circle was packed with chatty couples and families when we arrived around 6:30 p.m., but we were seated immediately at one of those small, New York tables for two, lined up six in a row.

My wife and I shared a salad, a pasta dish and an entree, and were pleasantly stuffed. We could have skipped the pasta; there was plenty of food.

We started with warm, grilled shrimp and artichokes over a mound of bitter frisee, sprinkled with toasted capers ($17, also available as an entree).

My wife said the frisee tasted like "medicine," but added it was the best salad she had ever had. I thought it was great, too, despite the salty capers.  

Our pasta dish was one of the Landmarc specials: 

Cavetelli with chicken livers, bacon and caramelized onions ($18 for small). I picked out some of the pasta and onions, leaving the rest for my wife, who loved it.

We also shared a whole roasted branzino covered by long, thin carrot and zucchini sections and radicchio ($30). Just wonderful.

Under the crisp skin, the fish was hot, moist and delicious. Landmarc serves this European sea bass for less than many Greek restaurants in North Jersey.

The tables on each side were close enough for us to overhear conversations.

On one side, an overweight couple had ordered hamburgers with french fries and field greens ($16). The woman sent back the burger for more time on the fire, and gave the waiter the bun to discard.

On the other side, two friends -- a young Asian woman with an annoyingly high voice and an Asian man -- discussed the expensive restaurants they had visited.

The man said he and another female friend ate at Marea on Central Park South and drank two bottles of wine. The bill: $260.

We asked for each course separately, so our meal took almost 90 minutes. But our 8 p.m. concert in the Rose Theater was only two floors above the restaurant.

We were wowed by blind pianist Marcus Roberts leading a nonet in the music of pioneering piano masters Earl Hines and Bud Powell. Best of all, I had won the orchestra tickets from WBGO-FM, the jazz station in Newark.

Landmarc, 10 Columbus Circle, in the Time Warner Center; 212-823-6123. Reservations only for six or more.

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