Today was a great lesson in being cool. The issues we had in the morning finding the waffle truck were solved by a quick phone call, and the hour and fifteen minutes I waited for Lauren of East Village Kitchen (link) wasn’t the end of the world. She was at an interview at one of my favorite places in NYC and was being put through the ringer so she couldn’t get away to call or text. She’d indicated she was going to be a bit late in a quick text before, so I was frustrated but hanging in there. I ordered before she got there.
I had a Kir Royale (pic) to start. A house made blackberry sorbet was an interesting touch; the blackberry puree dissolved in the champagne and gave it a unique consistency. For an appetizer, I started with the Asparagus Milanese (right) and ate it the second it dropped at the table. This is bad. As a food blogger, I have to take pictures of all the food before I eat it, and I was three bites into it before I remembered that fact. When Lauren arrived, we had another one sent to the table because A) I needed to take the picture and B) it was awesome. The poached egg over the salty asparagus was the item recommended on Always Hungry (link) and it didn’t disappoint.
We had a decision to make on the mid course, so we decided not to decide and got both the Zuwai Crab (pic) and Sea Urchin (left) pastas. This is the third time I’ve had sea urchin on this project (maybe the third time I’ve ever had sea urchin) and I don’t know why, but I just don’t have a taste for it. This one didn’t change my mind, but Lauren, who also wasn’t a big fan of the urchin, rather enjoyed it. Little-neck clams, garlic, and urchin tossed in an extra virgin olive oil – the urchin gave it a sweet/tartness that worked for her. The Zuwai crab was served with a bottarga that gave it a pleasing crunch.
By far our favorite dish was the Seared Foie Gras (below). We had a discussion about this one. Was it great because it was foie gras or was it great because it was great? There’s something emperor’s-new-clothesish about me and foie gras. Every time I’ve had it, I’ve loved it. I have this same issue with Thai food; every thai dish I’ve had, I’ve loved. Is it because it’s the balance of spices in the cuisine and the way it’s been crafted and perfected to hit every part of your palate for 3,000 years or is it because I only go to very well-respected Thai restaurants and the food is actually good? With foie gras, if a restaurant has foie gras on their menu, I find it usually means they can execute the dish well. That’s an expensive mistake if they can’t, so there’s the rub. The bottom line is that it was the best bite of the evening, and comparing the foie gras dishes I’ve had, this one is in the top five for sure. It was on a brioche with caramelized onion. When I ran out of brioche, I grabbed the bread from the basket and used that to add to the foie gras,
For dessert, we had a Green Tea Ice Cream with Glutinous Rice and Strawberries (below). The first bite I had, there wasn’t enough strawberry to balance the nori in the cracker you see in the picture (the brown crispy sea-fan looking thing). I took a second bite with everything and all was right with the world. There was a graininess to the ice cream that made the whole feel quite exotic. I had the last strawberry. This was an impressive dessert.
The other thing I love about this place is the location. It’s sexy as hell to walk down nearly empty cobblestone streets to get here. The out-of-the-wayness of the place makes it an awesome date destination.
Everything was right about Greenwich Grill. I’m going back on Monday to try Sushi Azabu and if it’s anything like my experience last night, I know I’ll be impressed.
Guest Writer: Lauren Soutiere
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Greenwich Grill for providing this meal.
428 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013