Restaurant Week, Part Deux


Yesterday's target restaurant was San Domenico, the famous Italian restaurant on Central Park South.

The room itself is an attractive, well-lit space with little art-deco sconces on the ceiling. The background music, a bit louder than I would have preferred, was Tommy Dorseyeque renditions of classics like "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (though it later switched over to the bland, meandering stylings of a fusion guitarist who'd listened to too many mellow John McLaughin albums), the kind of music that I've always associated with the grand restaurants of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

The food -- which is what this whole exercise is really about -- was very good. In fact, the first course of the luncheon menu -- little sea bass ravioli -- was not just very good, but spectacular. It's not a combination that would seem to make sense -- fish and pasta -- but it worked really, really well. The delicate flavor of the pasta melted into the sweet fish, giving the perfectly cooked bass a little flavor gracenote.

The cornish hen main course suffered by comparison. While perfectly executed (and the onion marmalade and olive bed that the bird rested on was delightful), it was, after all, only a small chicken. It was very nice, though 'very nice' shouldn't be what a restaurant of this caliber should be shooting for.

Dessert was a nutty Neapolitan cheesecake with a tangy, sweet tangerine sauce.

I should mention the wonderful bread that they served us, the focaccia in particular meriting extra attention. It was crunchy, flavorful (a small argument broke out among my dining partners regarding the exact nature of the herb on top of the bread), and served its purpose exceedingly well.

The menu, overall, did an decent job of representing what the restaurant is about: innovative, interesting, and tasty modern Italian cuisine. A very solid two stars out of four.


Now why in the world would you ruin a night out with a cornish hen? Those bony little things demand that they be picked up and eaten by hand, just like a dove or a quail. It's either that or leave half the cost of your dinner on the damn plate to be thrown away.

so there's no vegetarian options on these menus?

i guess that would be asking for too much.

Lunch, not dinner.

And it was pretty good, too (not to mention deboned). It just wasn't spectacular.

And it was the only thing on the prix fixe, too.

Some do (like AZ, where we ate today), some don't.

For those with picky eating habits, making inquiries when one is making reservations is recommended.

ah... it is explained how it is that that one unemployed blogger has taken to the ways of the flaneur.

Paul, you should be getting paid to write these reviews. And I agree with Scott, why a cornish hen? They're just chickens with inferiority complexes. I can imagine back when people hunted and killed their own meals: the disappointment of picking out the bones of a cornish hen and seeing what little meat was left and then being grateful because all the buckshot you had to chew around made you work your mouth enough to at least to fool yourself into thinking you were satiated.

Cornish hen is up there with squid or crab. Who was the first person on earth to look at one and have the original idea to eat it? "Say look at that gelatinous thing with squiggly arms. I bet that would taste good squirming around inside my mouth." OR "Oh ho, tiny little bird! Finally, something I would expend more calories in procuring than I would consume in eating. Yum." Hey, maybe that was the first definition of diet food?

Ahhh...deboned. Probably better. My mom loves the cornish hen -- I had to eat millions of them growing up, so I'm not a big fan.

Someone who was very, very, very hungry?

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