Sunday, January 24, 2010

Felidia (Manhattan) 01/10

Lidia Bastanich, of TV and cookbook fame, has several Manhattan restaurants of which I think Felida, on East 58th Street, was the first. We like her cooking and chose Felidia because it was close to us. It's a cosy restaurant, on two floors 'though only the ground floor was needed the day we were there. The place is flooded with a soft pinkish light
which gives everything a slightly warm hue that looks strange on some of the pictures. Service was impeccable with prompt attention to requests but not in your face. A basket of very fresh baguettes was brought to the table with a creamy bean paste in place of butter.
Apart from the a la carte menu there is a great value pris fixe $29.50 menu with coffee. There is a good selection of dishes available and I had that while Sandra chose from the regular menu. We started with two appetizers. Ricotta filled rigatoni were an outstanding house made pasta with grated peccorino. It could not have been better. Sandra's chicken liver was equally but negatively outstanding it was inedible, the thin sliced liver was completely overcooked and burnt on the outside. The captain returned to the kitchen with it and came back to say that the chef was obliged by the law not to under cook chicken products and offered us a replacement dish. I am always struck by oddities, for example the fellow at the next table displaying his sock less foot.
I've no doubt he does own socks so what is his message, in the middle of New York winter? Linguini with duck and mushroom looked appealing. There were two prices on the menu $20 and$22. What was the difference? $20 is for a half serve!! We took the full serve
and shared another great tasting appetizer. Plenty of shredded duck and mushroom which seem to have a lot more flavour than at home. The chef, who I think must have been embarrassed also sent us a complimentary and very pleasing risotto.
I then had a mildly spiced plate of tripe, something I love, served with a small pot of creamy polenta. An offal lovers treat, the tripe a little chewy but very tender, the spices well balanced and the polenta worth imitating. Sandra had a tenderloin of veal served with an extremely tasty and tender cheek in a fine wine sauce. Palachinca, a pancake, filled with chestnut cream and topped with candied chestnut and cream ended the meal on a sweet note.
Coffee is served with cute little porcelain pots of brown and white sugar.

Champagne by the glass is one of the cheapest drinks here and we had a glass of quite reasonable Prosecofor $10.
Score: 14/20

1 comment:

neil said...

After all that foie gras on you trip, perhaps you're both ruined for plain old chicken livers!

I'm completely jealous you've been to one of Lidia's restaurants by the way.