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Monday, April 25, 2011

Where? Elsewhere

I got to go to NYC for my job a couple of weeks ago and after a long day of work - we headed over to the Hell's Kitchen area for a big group dinner at Elsewhere.

It's a very pretty restaurant and cozy on the inside - a pleasant dining experience for sure! 

There were 9 women - NINE - we needed some food and some vino - STAT! We started with the popcorn because of the previous recos from coworkers. We got a bowl each of Porcini, Lavender-Rosemary and Bacon-Butter.  ($5 each) 

Flavored popcorn is something that hasn't hit Cincinnati yet and we really enjoyed it. Everybody had their favorite - nearly everyone was raving over the Lavender-Rosemary. It wasn't overpowering yet added a kick to the corn. My personal favorite was the bacon-butter - but duh - I'm from Iowa. Nobody was raving over the porcini - it tasted a little burnt. 

One of the girls was in love with the Menage-a-Trois and told us we HAD to order it. Dates stuffed with Roaring Forties Blue, Almonds, Pancetta and Orange ($10). Everybody but me loved it. I tried. I tried one bite but that was some strong-ass blue cheese and I'm just not a fan. I couldn't handle it. But if you like blue cheese - you'd like this!

For the appetizer I chose Bay Scallops with Celery Root Puree & Butternut Squash ($12). I wasn't thinking bay scallop and was expecting a regular sized scallop. It was okay - a little sparse compared to the salad portions - but okay.

One coworker went for the cheese tasting ($27). It was quite a variety and she really enjoyed it. That's another thing you don't find out here in the 'Nati too often - I'd love to see this as an option at places here.

After MUCH debate - I chose the Raviolo with warm Ricotta, Arugula Pesto & Pistachio Oil ($19). The fresh pasta was really great...but overall I didn't like it much. The ricotta was bland - the brown sauce (no idea?) seemed like it was screaming for mushrooms and the pesto was more like chunks of arugula. I was pretty disappointed and was wishing I was back at the Hudson Cafeteria!

Chocolate Bourbon Icebox Cake, Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream  ($8) - it looks delicious and my coworker said it tasted pretty great too! 

Another coworker and I decided to split their Dutch Baby with Apple Compote & Fresh Cream ($10). It was okay. The dough was good but the apples were a little undercooked.


The next morning I was at a coffee shop and had to take a photo of the newsstand out front. This is so NYC - I love seeing it! Also inside the coffee shop - I had my one "celebrity" sighting. The guy at the table next to us looked insanely familiar - but I couldn't place him (which really isn't like me). I couldn't go up and just say "Hey - who are you?" - especially with my new boss right there. Then I got home - turned on the TV and it hit me - it's one of the sober coaches from A&E's new show Relapse. Not sure how much of a celebrity that is - but it was the best I could do! 

Why Should You Go? Eh - I wouldn't. Although I'd love to see some Cincinnati folks take a hint from the big city and add the flavored popcorn to their menus (eh-hem - Virgils - sounds like something right up your alley!) - I just didn't enjoy my meal that much. I also have a theory - when you're in NYC - go to one $100+ dinner (Daniel for example) and then - devour street food the rest of the time! The service and the food is THAT MUCH BETTER. And with the street food - gyros, pizza, dogs - they're on every corner - and don't forget the black & white cookie (still a Seinfeld junkie after all these years).

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