Saturday, August 11, 2012

An affordable lunch for cheese lovers

Pan Roasted Sea Bream at DB Bistro Moderne in Manhattan.
An appetizer of Beet Cured Salmon.

For my fourth and final Restaurant Week lunch in Manhattan on Thursday, I fell hook, line and sinker for the menu at DB Bistro Moderne, one of Chef Daniel Boulud's seven Manhattan dining spots.

As part of a $24.07 lunch promotion, the fine-dining restaurant offered a seafood appetizer and entree, and cheese in two other courses, one of them dessert.

When you're not eating meat, those choices are music to your ears.

Mesclun Salad with Manchego Cheese.

I wanted to start with Price Edward Island Mussels, but our waiter informed us they were all gone and that Beet-Cured Salmon was being substituted.

It's the height of the wild-salmon season, so I expected wild-caught fish. But when I asked, the waiter said it was farmed salmon, meaning artificial color and possibly antibiotics.

I quickly chose the Mesclun Salad with fava beans, English peas, cherry tomato and Manchego cheese in a balsamic reduction.

The front room at DB Bistro Moderne.

For an entree, I wanted to have the Pan Roasted Sea Bream with olive-oil crushed potatoes, arugula, Trumpet Royale mushrooms and Sauce Grenobloise.

The waiter said sea bream is similar to sea bass. I asked about the sauce, and he said it is a brown-butter sauce, so I told him I that I didn't want to have any butter or cream.

The fish came without sauce, but I expected the kitchen to add a wedge of lemon to the plate. It didn't.

For dessert, I chose Assiette de Fromages -- a cheese plate. DB Bistro Moderne had one of the few $24.07 menus offering fruit and cheese for dessert.

My dessert of cheese, bread, fruit, fig compote and candied walnuts.

The plate held hard and soft cheeses, and house-baked bread, but I ignored the sliced bread and indulged in the hard, delicious crust of a small roll that was included in the bread service, spreading the soft cheese on it.

Another lunch entree was Chicken Fricassee Forestiere with spetzle pasta.

A dessert of Berry Tartelette with lemon-white Verjus sorbet.

I had made a reservation for four at 2 p.m., but two of my companions thought it was at 1, and started eating.

When I arrived just before 2, the hostess graciously seated all of us at a table for four in the front room, and had servers move the food and water glasses there.

The Restaurant Week promotion ended on Friday, but starting on Monday, many restaurants are taking part in NYC Go Prix Fixe through Sept. 3, offering the same three-course meals for $24.07 at lunch and $35 at dinner.

Here is the Web site: NYC Go Prix Fixe

DB Bistro Moderne, 55 W. 44th St., Manhattan; 212-391-2400.

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