Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New York: a brief background and Mercer Kitchen is good, bro

Where to begin, but at the beginning. I was born in White Plains, New York, and attended school there, a few early years. We spent summers driving around the northeast, and I've been visiting my best friend Liza in the Big Apple since '95 for parties and friendship. I spent 2006 living in the City, and although at first I was enchanted with the possibilities, I soon succumbed to the realities of this big town and to my own anxieties. I hadn't actually been back in a year, since Liza's Block Island wedding, but since I was turning a big number with a zero in it, my parents flew me north to try and help me remember how loved I am.

It's funny how things in NY really don't change so much. The view from where I sleep at Liza and her husband Kevin's shows the Empire State (above), something solid, lasting. Many of the bars and restaurants I once frequented remain open and packed. Over the next few posts it'll become clear what I mean. 

On my birthday, Liza and Kevin brought me out to eat at the very fancy Mercer Kitchen. Located in the basement of the Mercer Hotel (sister to the Chateau Marmont - that's fancy in Hollywood), the walls are brick with arches and mirrors; it's dark and intimate and most importantly, the food was tops. 

For appetizers, we devoured the roasted market beets with goat cheese and crunchy squid with chili lime mayo sauce, calamari, basically. I'm not an adventurous eater and I have an innate fear of beets (why are they so red?), but these were perfectly earthy and some weren't even red. I made sure to find any way possible to get that chili lime sauce on my fingers for an extra taste. I even dipped my bread in it. 

This was Liza's roasted black sea bass, which was too pretty to eat. I ordered the Niman Ranch pork chop with a chili glaze - it was the size of a t-bone. I couldn't even finish it, but man was it cooked perfectly. I often order "chops" pork or lamb, and am often disappointed, but this time I was impressed. For dessert, we'd suggest getting the poached pear, as it was intoxicatingly scrumptious! If you have some money and you'd like a laid-back but still trendy atmosphere, I'd put my bid in for this joint. 
After dinner we stood around and had a drink at Merc Bar, which I've supposedly been to before, but I never noticed how delightful the waterfall tryptic was until now. It was really relaxing, for me at least. 


nico said...

triptych - sorry but i had to

Emily Sue said...

I want good food...now! So jealous.