Monday, January 31, 2011

SouthWest NY

Noted Southwestern cooking experts Abraham Merchant and Richard Cohn promulgated this restaurant in the bottom of World Financial Center. It's like all the restaurants in the building - good in the pictures, but sorta brash and lacking charm in person. When it's busy at lunch, it's pretty tiring. I should know - I went twice, on successive days, plus for a beer on a third. All with colleagues, so no pictures.

The entrance is supposed to be a feature - there's a long water wall, and it's faced by a curved wall decorated from floor to ceiling with planters of dried wheat. This could be nice, but it's also narrow and low-ceilinged, and the overall effect is tunnel-y and claustrophibinous. Then inside is a tiled and southwestern, which is good for amplifying the noise. You know though, I had noise problems practically everywhere I went. The level of bustle is different between Tokyo and New York, and I'm too used to the quiet.

The food is there to appeal to everyone - for lunch the first day, my colleague Heiny had a quesadilla (pronounced 'kwee-za-dilla') while I went with that noted southwestern favorite, cajun grilled salmon salad. It wasn't un-enjoyable, to tell you the truth - big and sweet are the adjectives I remember. The sweet was from the salad dressing on the copious quantitudes of baby greens, and that level of roughage is always welcome. You could equally get some southwestern pasta, or a pulled pork sandwich... or corncakes with mushroom veggie burgers like I got on the second day. They were big...and sweet.

Hell, it's just lunch. Outside of this place, it's either the Grill Room or sandwiches or food court, so suck it up. 212-945-0528

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