Hello… I am back. Were you worried about me? It seems like such a long time since I have posted anything. I have been busy you see with my day job that sometimes creeps into all other hours of the day and I am just tired and don’t want to do anything else except sleep on my downtime.
I spent a few days in New York this past week and was lucky enough to be there the same time as Lauren, so we got to have a few dinners together – always a delight.
Firstly, let me just ask this question of you. How do you make a girl/woman feel very bad about herself? A very simple answer… be in New York at the kick off of Fashion Week. My hotel was overrun with models and as I looked down at my five foot, slightly plumpy little body, I grimaced and snuck out of the hotel without making eye contact with anyone. There was only one answer and that was dinner with lots of wine.
We spoke to the hotel concierge with regards to finding a restaurant in Midtown (walking distance) we have not been to before. We were looking for French and he suggested La Maneoire on 2nd between 53rd & 54th.
Walking off 2nd Ave into this little restaurant felt like we had just left the crazy streets of Manhattan and strolled into a country bistro in the South of France. With wonderful rustic décor and friendly, French accented waiters all dressed in blue gingham shirts, I was looking forward to what was on offer at this charming little place. This restaurant definitely puts a smile on your face as you look around at the fresh flowers and old pictures on the walls and three little rooms that are cozy and warm.
We were seated at a little round table, quite romantic, and were offered water while our waiter talked us through the list the specials.
The menu offered lots of wonderful choices and what was even nicer is that almost all of their entrée items offered two plate sizes. I love this idea and believe more restaurants should adopt this thinking.
Our waiter brought over some fresh crusty bread with dippings and olives. One of them was so fishy and overwhelming to me, I couldn’t eat it. I asked what it was and was told, anchovies and olive oil. Wow fishy.
We started with the Smoked Salmon Rillette and special of Asparagus with a Béarnaise sauce. The salmon rillette was fantastic. Chunks of salmon with a creamy texture and mild spice. I have had a similar dish before at Bouchon and I have to say this one rivaled its greatness. The asparagus was lovely and crunchy with a perfectly made, tangy sauce.
For main I decided on the Sautéed Sea Scallops (small plate). Three large, plump scallops that were delicious and full of flavor. The sauce was lightly spiced with saffron and richly creamy. The sauce was made for bread mopping, which of course I did. The fact that I ordered the small plate meant that I eat everything and didn’t have wasted food because I couldn’t take it home.
Lauren picked the appetizer of Fish Soup for her entrée. The fish was pureed and incredibly flavorful. This soup would be perfect for a winter’s evening. Incredibly tasty and very garlicky!
Dessert menus were brought over to us and as I know I will never, ever be a model I picked the Café Liegeoise. A sundae of coffee ice-cream, espresso and whipped cream. So good and I loved the bitter sharp flavor of espresso poured throughout the dessert.
Lauren decided on the Coupe St. Tropez. Another sundae of fresh berries, grapefruit sorbet and grand marnier. I didn’t try this, too happy with my own dessert, but Lauren said it was delicious.
As the crazy start of Fashion Week was going on outside, we enjoyed a lovely, quiet evening of wonderful French, unpretentious cuisine in the heart of Manhattan.