Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nino's Italian Restaurant (Upper East Side, NYC) 09/2016

This is one of the locals that's been around for years. It has a comfortable, old world atmosphere, comfortable seating and, better still, convenient for me just now.

As you enter the restaurant there is an very large 15 year old mural on the right depicting a collection of the famous patrons including Bill and Hilary Clinton and Donald and Melani Trump.


And there are a few framed photo's  around of Nino with his famous guests



When I arrived they had a huge fish lying on a bed of ice surrounded by a few smaller fish and crustaceans.

The tables are set with show plates and good cutlery.  
There is also a rather tired artificial rose that I think they could do without.
 Bread arrived promptly

I chose their $42 fixed price three course menu, starting with Nino's Italian meatballs in a tomato sauce. 
Covered in parmesan they were very Italian and very tasty.
An enormous shank with roast potatoes followed. 
Falling off the bone it could not have been better.
Tiramasu had an inch of sweet cream on the wine soaked cake.
Coffee was included but my Espresso added an extra $5.50. That, evidently is not coffee!
A little pricey but I'm glad I went.
Score:14.25 /20

Wolf and Lamb (Midtown Manhattan) 09/2016


There are an enormous number of restaurants in Manhattan and among them a choice of any sort of food. As one can guess from the name this is a steak restaurant but they do have plenty of other choices, see the menu at the end of this review. 
W & L is also a Kosher restaurant so there is no milk, no butter, no cream and no cheese available.
Bare brick walls suit the decor,



tables are set with butchers paper over linen cloths and kids are given crayons to display their art.

It's certainly family friendly.

Typical of American restaurants serves are handsome. Water and bread were served promptly. 

A bowl of chicken soup with a substantial amount of chicken and a large soft matza ball was a little salty,

and of course, not as good as my mothers, but quite satisfying. I settled on seared duck breast which turned out to be a lot more than seared but did have a crispy skin and good taste. 

The accompanying beans were very much to my liking, firm and barely cooked and the very large serve of sauteed spinach surprising as there was no butter used.
Chip had rosemary to create an unusual but very pleasant taste.
Lemon tarragon chicken salad looked unimpressive to me.

but my son enjoyed it and there were no complaints about a serve of chicken and salad. 

For dessert a molten chocolate pudding, also with no milk or cream, was surprisingly good.
 Score: 14/20
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Menu                                                                                                                                                                   
SOUP & SALADS

CHICKEN MATZO BALL SOUP 13 

SOUP DU JOUR 13 
KALE CAESAR SALAD 20 Fennel, Radish, Roasted Garlic Anchovy Dressing (Fried Egg 4 - Striped Bass 36 - Salmon 38) 
LEMON TARRAGON CHICKEN SALAD 29 
Arugula, Baby Heirloom Tomato, Avocado, Dijon Vinaigrette (Salmon 36) 
THAI STEAK SALAD 44 Filet Mignon, Butter Lettuce, Cabbage, Carrot, Scallion, Toasted Peanuts, Soy Ginger Dressing 
W & L SALAD 32 Marinated Chicken Thigh, Mesclun Greens, Green Beans, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Persia

STARTERS & SNACKS 


SPICED CHARRED CAULIFLOWER 12 

FRIED PICKLES 13 Spicy Remoulade 

SPICY CHICKEN TENDERS 19 Salsa Roja Picante, Radish, Cilantro 
LAMB SLIDERS 2 5 Cucumber & Jalapeño Relish, Potato Crisps, Spicy Remoulade 
GRILLED HANGER STEAK TACOS 2 6 Avocado, Slaw, Radish, Jalapeño, Salsa Verde 
SALMON TARTARE 23 Jalapeño, Cucumber, Lime, Ginger, Radish, Potato Crisps 

ARTISANAL SANDWICHES 


TUSCAN CHICKEN SANDWICH 24 Baby Arugula, Herb Roasted Tomato, Tarragon Mint Gremolata, Ciabbata (Salmon 36) 

SPICY PULLED BBQ BRISKET 28 Slaw, Fried Pickles, Sesame Brioche 
STEAK & WILD MUSHROOM RUEBEN 36 
Grilled Hanger Steak, Sautéed Cabbage & Fennel, Roasted Wild Mushroom, Spicy Remoulade, Baguette 

GOURMET BURGERS 


ALL NATURAL GRASS FED BEEF BURGER 23 Butter Lettuce, Tomato, Chipotle BBQ Sauce 

TURKEY BURGER 2 2 Sautéed Cabbage & Fennel, Roasted Wild Mushroom, Basil Garlic Mayo 
FRESH SALMON BURGER 29 Cilantro Guacamole, Jalapeño, Spicy Remoulade 
LAMB BURGER 29 Cucumber & Jalapeño Relish, Potato Crisps, Spicy Remoulade 
VEAL BURGER 32 Wild Mushroom Gravy, Duck Confit, Fried Egg 
W & L BURGER 34 Freshly Ground Ribeye, Arugula, Wild Mushroom, Crispy Fried Shallots, Cabernet Reduction (Fried Egg 4 - Fried Pickles 4 - Thick Cut Pastrami 8)

SIDES

HOMEMADE FRIES, SWEET POTATO OR SPICY FRIES 12 Basil Garlic Mayo 
HOMEMADE ONION RINGS 12 Spicy Remoulade 
BASIL & GARLIC MASHED POTATOES 12 
BAKED POTATO / SWEET POTATO 8 
BALSAMIC GREEN BEANS & CRISPY SHALLOTS 14 
SAUTEED SPINACH 13 
MESCLUN SALAD 13 Heirloom Tomato, Balsamic Vinaigrette 
HERB BASMATI RICE 10 

DESSERTS


HOMEMADE APPLE TART 1 4 Brown Sugar Streusel, Caramel Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream 

HOMEMADE PECAN PIE 15 A La Mode 
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE 14 Crème Anglaise 
DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING 15 Peanut Butter Mousse, Candied Peanuts 
STICKY TOFFEE DATE BREAD PUDDING 1 4 Candied Pecans, Carmel Sauce SEASONAL FRESH FRUIT 13
18% Service Charge will be added to parties of 6 or more and checks that exceed 200.00

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Canton Palace (Portland Victoria) 09/2016

It has become something of a habit to try the local Chinese cuisine when I visit country towns. There are two to choose from here. Because they offer a Smorgasbord on Saturday and Wednesday I went to the Canton Palace. 

This looks like a typical Chinese restaurant. 

At 7.30 there was a row of three quarter empty Bain Matries with trays of wilting chicken and beef dishes, battered chicken, spring rolls, fried one one tons, chips and a bowl of gluggy chicken and corn soup.






The food was certainly Cantonese style but exceptionally bland and dull looking.
On the positive side the place looked clean, there were paper covered white cloths on the tables, it's also family friendly and it was full.
They do also offer a regular menu and it was foolish of me not to pick something from that, or, seeing the smorgasbord, just leave.
Score 12/20

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Edwards Waterfront Restaurant (Portland Victoria) 09/2016

 Of all the people I asked Edwards was the most recommended restaurant in Portland. It offers inside/outside dining 

in a simply decorated open environment.  Large bare wood tables 

comfortably accommodate the meals. Their menu is adequate for fish or meat eaters and they have some flexibility in meeting special requests.  They have a range of newspapers for patrons and a substantial cake bar

which makes it a little more like a cafe than a fine dining restaurant.
A serve of smoked salmon on bruschetta was generous
fresh and tasty.
Salmon, pippis, lardons and linguini was also a decent but uninspiring dish. 

The salmon well and truly overcooked detracted from the dish.
A pleasant venue but not a foodie paradise
Score:13.75 /20

Monday, August 29, 2016

Clock by the Bay (Portland Victoria) 08/2016

*Click on the pic's if you want to enlarge them.
When I arrive at a place at which I'm no0t familiar I often ask Taxi drivers and locals where in town is the best place to eat. Most recommended the pubs or, perhaps a little more upmarket Edwards. Two Chinese restaurants were also favourably regarded. Only one person, almost as an after thought, mentioned the former Post Office, now a restaurant. I have the time to try both Edwards the Clock and perhaps a Chinese restaurant too.
The Clock resides in an attractive white building on the edge of the harbour. 

It's large windows offer views of the Mac, across the road and of the harbour.

The entrance is up a few stairs to a bright, quite sophisticated eating area.

Tables are a good size, made from limed parquetry flooring.

They offer both a sizeable lunch time menu until 3.00 pm and an evening menu.

I arrived at 2.30 and they were happy to serve me.
I started with a dish of muscles in a spicy sauce with a couple of thick toasted slices of bread to mop up the sauce and cutlery, including a spoon for the sauce. 

The muscles were plump and tender and the sauce well balanced and not overwhelmingly spiced. A very good dish.
After that I had a main course of perfectly cooked ling with crumbed shitake mushrooms and a pleasing salad. 

This good size piece of very fresh very white flaky fish has nothing 'fishy' about it's delicate flavour.

 I could have done without it but the chef's gourmet selection of petit desserts ($19) sounded too good to miss. 

It had enough calories for the whole day, perhaps more.
 
It included a chocolate pot, a lemon curd in a glass, a pannacota, a creme brulee, a slice of rich chocolate cake, a few raspberries and small meringues and lots of sweet crumbs and crumbed nuts plus an espresso coffee. Over all it was a bit too sweet.
It would have been good to share but I ate the lot with the greatest of pleasure. 
Service was a little slow but my wait person was very cheerful and pleasant.
Including a Lemon lime and bitters this was a substantial very good meal. 
Score 15.5/20

The Mac (Portland Victoria) 08/2016

Unless someone has highly recommended a gastropub I no longer go to pubs for food. Of course I do get a meal and it's usually quite substantial and not over expensive, but nowadays I go to see what they are like.
The Bentink, commonly known as the Mac 

is a very old place. 

Virtually everything about the place seemed to be old with the exception of the gas fire 

and the staff. Certainly it is a great building dating from the 1850's and it makes no pretence to being modern. It has a nice ceiling with central roses, 

the dated wall paper is covered in old photos from the 19th century 



and the carpets, 

paintings 

the furniture,

the newspaper here was three days old!, and even the tables looked ancient.

seem to be just about as old.
The food was robust. A 250 gm fillet steak must have been at least 50% more than promised.
Covered in a decent mushroom sauce, which also bathed most of the chips it was cooked as requested - no complaints.
Score: 12.75/20