Monday, August 24, 2009

Picholine - My Birthday Celebration

Yes, it's that time of the year again. Remember when you wanted to celebrate your birthday, I think I was in high school.

While I don't like the aging part of birthdays, I do like the celebrating part. My best girlfriends and I have been celebrating our respective birthdays for many moons. Over the years, we have dined at some pretty cool restaurants. Of course, as we got older and started making more money, the restaurants became increasingly more expensive. Just to name a few, we have dined at Le Cirque, Mr. Chow Downtown, Convivio, Felidia, The Modern, The Four Seasons.

Given the economy and my unfortunate incarceration (sorry couldn't resist using a Designing Women reference - my situation is not dire, just unfortunate), there was talk of suspending our birthday celebrations. I put the kibosh on that one. As a single mom, I just don't get that many opportunities to get out, so the concession was that we would only choose restaurants with Prix Fix menus and choose less expensive wine.

So my choice for my birthday was Picholine, located at 35th W. 64th Street. This is neighborhood that I do not visit very often unless I am going to Lincoln Center.

The restaurant opened in 1993 to rave review and I would have to give a rave review. Everything about the room seemed elegant and overly so - from the table settings, to the dim lighting to the drapery treatments.It was truly sumptuous and luxurious. It's not a particularly big space but big enough to feel warm and intimate. It just felt special and I could tell this was a good choice as we walked to our tables.

The service was pretty good although, I think our waiter wasn't the friendliest, nor warmest or the fuzziest.He could be best described as dour with a sour puss face. I don't like to discriminate against older waiters but he was just a tad close to being crotchety.

But the sommelier on the other hand was quite pleasant, handsome , very helpful and from Chile. Good combination, just ask my friend, S who was in charge of the wine selection for the evening. Sommeliers are pretty helpful and definitely not like the ones you see in movies who scoff at you when you tell them how much you want to spend. Once you tell them how much you want to spend, they will definitely lead you down the right path.

The cuisine is described in Zagat as French-Mediterranean which I have no idea what that means. Here is my prix fixe menu.
Appetizer: Ricotta Gnocchi with Artichokes Barigoule
Main Course: Steak Bavette with Tomato Chutney and Spring Onion Tempura
Dessert: Warm Carmel Apple Brioche

So how was the food. In three words, fabulous, delicious and filling. Just the right combinations of flavors. I truly enjoyed my meal.

And to top off the evening, the waiter gave me a copy of the menu and the wine label as a souvenir plus a little breakfast pastry. I always love parting gifts.

I highly recommend you check it out. So worth it.


gaynycdad said...

Now I'm really hungry!

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