Friday, June 30, 2006

North Square

June 30

When the topic of New York neighborhood restaurants comes up, I never think of North Square, and I don't know why. It's a nice place on the northwest corner of Washington Square Park whose chef, Yoël Cruz, has been the chef there for more than four years, and he was sous chef there before that. I must have eaten there half a dozen times by now and I always think I should write about it, and then it slips my mind.
I wrote about their tea service once, and I ran the announcement of Yoël's promotion, but I haven't actually written about the food since John McGrath was chef and the restaurant was named C3 (its address is 103 Waverly Place, get it?).
Anyway, I went there again last night with the restaurant's publicists to sample some new menu items.
We sampled a lot of them:

•Rosemary seafood salad — scallops, shrimp, mussels, calamari, romaine lettuce, onions, radish, crispy shoestring potatoes, lemon shallot dressing.
•Pan-roasted lobster served over a wild mushroom tamal with steamed asparagus and green pea sauce
•Porcini-dusted halibut with baby bok choy, chanterelle mushrooms, fava beans, pearl onion marmalade, red pepper and tarragon sauce
•Crisp Long Island duck breast with sautéed spinach, baby beets, steamed snow peas, roasted eggplant quinoa, tamarind and apricot demi-glace
•Citrus-rubbed seared tuna with vegetable couscous, baby herb salad, lime curry and shallot sauce
•Marinated pork tenderloin with mashed plantain and yuca, baby broccoli florets, red wine and ginger-fig sauce
•Tortilla-crusted snapper with sautéed Swiss chard, creamed corn and dried chile sauce.

And for dessert (obviously we were jonesing for chocolate):
•Caramel and chocolate parfait with pecan chocolate topping, served with a chocolate brownie
•Pecan pie triangles with rum cream, chocolate sauce, nut tuile and chocolate
•Chocolate mousse cake with caramel Heath Bar ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces and chopped Heath Bar.

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