Archive for November 11th, 2013

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Solo – A Chinese Variation on a Theme


Solo has always been a very classy act. Perhaps it was the red interior, accenting Solo’s newest Chinese themed cuisine, that caused a mind-melding color association with a movie I once saw called The Red Violin. A master violin maker, Nicolo Bussotti, creates a magnificent red colored violin of impeccable sound and quality; the story fans out as the violin passes among its talented owners, spanning many countries and the breadth of four centuries. Solo in many ways resembles the exquisite violin in the story. Throughout its variations from meat to dairy and back to meat in oriental presentation, Solo has – since it opened its doors – provided masterful fair, exemplary high end quality dishes, service, artful presentation, with creative recipe variations yielding delightful results. Valentino, Solo‘s manager – a mother hen, in a good way – is there from early morning until midnight, day in and day out, making sure that Solo‘s standards remain at the top of its class.

At the request of its many loyal habitués, Solo has kept some of its most popular items like cowboy steak, and beef sliders. It’s a good thing too; CS and I started off our meal with Solo‘s Yellowfin Tuna Tartar, topped with avocado mash served with kimchi and mango salsa – some variations since last we sampled it, but still perfection. Their Salmon Carpaccio…

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was the ultimate example of high quality fare Solo is so famous for. You must must try the Porcini Mushroom Soup. It was just fabulous; you could wean babies on this creamy caramel colored delight. I don’t know how, but I just gotta that recipe. I could have eaten three bowls full. Maybe we’ll kidnap Eka, our trusty waiter, whom we’ve just adored for years, and torment him with heavy Jewish recipes ’til he gives up some kitchen secrets. The Hot and Sour Soup

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was almost as good to our palate as the mushroom soup that preceded it, though the first one remains an undisputed favorite.

We sampled two more fabulous fish dishes, check that, we devoured them! The Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass…

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with bok choy was outstanding, subtly sweet with just the right kick of pungent; the Salmon Teriyaki, cut triangles from the choicest part of top quality organic salmon, had the finest veil of spiced rice powdered crispness – again, superbly flavored! I have never enjoyed fish more.

Hagafen‘s Sauvignon Blanc 2011 accompanied our fish dishes – it showed very little personality except for its nice fruity bouquet. We switched to Hagafen‘s Pinot Noir 2011, a bit more flavorful for the meat courses that followed. Interesting Crispy Chinese Beef Balls – lemon flavored meatballs – they were uniquely lemony, moist and delicious.

Pan Seared Beef Dumplings…

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followed and they were light and delicious. Our final entree was the Mongolian Style Beef Filet, brought sizzling to the table, very Chinese, spicy savory, quite good. I don’t know if Chinese is the last cuisine variation that Solo will ever introduce, perhaps they will offer a fusion of just superbly crafted dishes. What I do know is that however they may vary their menu, Solo remains one of the finest orchestrations of fine dining in New York City.

SYR




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