Friday, October 9, 2009

The Grill Room, New York

When a place describes itself as 'sumptuously understated', you get a good idea what you're in for. And the Grill Room doesn't disappoint. It's expensive, lame, and a little tacky. Still, for a business lunch in World Financial Center, it delivers on the criticial 'location' dimension, and that may be enough. The view of the river is indeed pretty swell; kinda like some of the restaurants in IFC in Hong Kong, but with less HK and more NY outside. I feel a little bad judging it harshly based on one lackluster visit, but poop on that, I'd never tell you to eat here.

As far as food, I had eaten a biggish breakfast not that long before and was somewhat lacking interest (so salt your reading concordantly). We started with a shared platter of calamari where the breading was wierdly dry and crumbly, but on the other hand this helped preserve it against getting soggy since it wasn't hot. Regarding the main dishes, the menu is a classical 'steaks vs. seafood death match' sort of affair, and I honored my American roots by doing my little bit to help eradicate the endangered Patagonian Toothfish. It turned out to be a huge piece of fish, the size of a tuna jaw (does that help your imagery?), that was somehow crusted over with toasted fat and ridiculously rich and buttery inside. I felt a little obscene eating something so fatty even though it was fish. Served only with a few strands of cress, the waiter correctly observed that we should order vegetables separately.

Fine if you have to go, but better not on your own dime.

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