I had been wanting to try the new City Landing for a while, but as with all new restaurants, I wanted to give it a while to open up and relax into the restaurant it aspired to being. I do believe it is unfair to write about a restaurant that has only just opened.Formerly Sel de la Terre on the waterfront, City Landing opened a few months ago to more of a quiet rumble than a big bang. Those who have tried it so far seemed to have had a good and tasty experience and mine was no different.
City Landing seems bigger than Sel de la Terre but that is because of how open they have made the space but also I think because the little food market is gone. The space is very contemporary with a clean almost Californian feel. Floor to ceiling windows look out onto Atlantic Ave, adding more openness and natural light.
I was meeting my friend, Catherine and decided bar dining was the way to go. I like what they have done with the bar area. They have a beautiful long dark wood bar that seats about 20, high top booth seating and a long table with comfy high stools that runs down the middle seating about 15.
The place was very quiet for a Saturday night and after the large group seated at the center table moved, I was the only person sat at the bar while I waited for my friend. Even being the only person, it seemed to take the bartender quite some time to notice me. I finally had to raise my voice a little to get his attention. I soon realized he was finishing his shift and his replacement was coming on board. She was incredibly fun, thoughtful and friendly.
As I am still very much into Rose wine right now, I ordered a glass of lovely dry Triennes Rose, which was offered to me in a 6oz or 9oz pour. I stayed with the 6oz served in its own little carafe.
Catherine arrived and ordered a Cabernet while we looked at the menu. Bar dining also has an additional menu called “Bar Crumbs”, which offers small plates, however we were very excited about the main menu and had a number of thoughts on what we both wanted.
We started our evening with the Tuna Tartare to share. Small chopped, delicate tiny bites of melt in your mouth tuna atop just the right amount of sticky rice that didn’t overwhelm the tuna. I loved the kick of soy-wasabi and ginger-pickled cucumber that gave this appetizer a unique and fresh flavor. I am a big and somewhat judgmental fan of tuna tartare and this is one I would highly recommend.
For my main, I was truly at a loss of what to order with choices on offer of fresh and interesting looking fish and meat entrées to pasta and pizza dishes to the more traditional of liver and onion and not forgetting classic sides of mac n’ cheese. I finally got some help from our bartender who suggested her favorite dish of Pan Roasted Flounder. I was so glad she did. Flaky, mild, buttery white fish combined brilliantly with sweet tomatoes, asparagus and a crunch of artichoke. Just a mild tang of champagne-mustard sauce gave this dish something a little special. I noticed a lot of flair to simple dishes on the menu created by Chef Bill Brodsky.
Catherine ordered the Chicken Francais, which I have to say was incredibly appealing to look at; full of bright and vibrant colors. She said it was… “lovely, butter, tender and tasty. You can’t go wrong with a wine and butter sauce.” There wasn’t even a morsel left on her plate. I think next time this will be on my to order list.
We stayed for a while longer and talked to the bartender and a few of the managers, while we enjoyed more wine. Catherine commented that she really wanted some cookies and joked about one of them running out to Starbucks to buy her one. Next thing you know, two warm, chocolate chip cookies were placed in front of us. They did say they ran out to buy them but who knows. Either way what a lovely (free) treat.
The place remained quiet throughout the whole evening, perhaps it was because of the long weekend but it didn’t affect our absolutely lovely evening. The price point is a little high for entrée dishes, especially if you also want sides; however it is possible to enjoy a more cost effective evening of “Bar Crumbs”, appetizers and pizzettas.
I will be back to enjoy more of what this new restaurant has to offer and can see it becoming a popular spot for the after work crowd. I have heard they also do a mean brunch.