Archive for the 'Mike's Bistro' Category

19
Jul
12

Revisiting Sòlo


When you have a meeting, date or get together over food that needs to go flawlessly, Sòlo (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800 – in the atrium of the SONY building) is the place to be. A swank counterpart to the high tech-upscale Sony building and atrium it’s located in, Sòlo is what contemporary high class chic tastes like. From its sleek artsy glass exterior wall – flanked through by oil with infused vegetables – down to its impeccably styled up-scale food presentation, Sòlo defines high quality cuisine; the fact that it’s under strict kosher supervision is sub-rosa fringe to its superb fare and service.

Chef-de-cuisine Guillermo Quiroz, trained by Chef David Kolotkin was just a delightful; the look of pride as he brought and explained each dish, knowing without a doubt we would be as pleased to eat as he was to present it, added to the experience.

We stated our feast with a Big Eye Tuna Tartar accompanied by avocado, citrus, mango and chips. It was very fresh, succulent, and not in the least bit fishy tasting (a great start to a great meal!).

We followed with another appetizer, Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, it came with celery root and Bosc pear puree, Swiss chard in a pomegranate reduction. Since I do not – on principle – eat veal, CS had it all to himself. Considering he cleaned the plate, I believed him when he described it as “superbly spiced, and absolutely delicious.”

Beef Carpaccio with spinach and grilled endive salad in a mustard and lemon vinaigrette came next. Well seasoned, beautifully presented, just perfect.

Next, came the pièce de résistance. We got the Roasted BBQ Short Ribs, sides were German potato salad and cauliflower puree. They reminded me of Mike’s Bistro‘s ribs. Sauce and flavors were excellent, the beef superbly tender, yet not overcooked.

Typical Uruguayan that he is, CS preferred the 8 oz Black Angus Steak au Poivre (available in 16 oz. as well), with caramelized onion puree, basil mash potatoes, and grilled asparagus in a red wine sauce. It was very flavorful, the crisp pepper top was just right, I just loved the wine sauce and onion puree combo. It’s hard to believe that in spite of its flavor, in spite of its tenderness, it was not aged meat.

The last main was a Pan Seared Black Angus Filet with turnip puree, mushroom ragout and fingerling potatoes in red wine sauce. Superb fare!

We washed it all down with a very good Binyamina Shiraz 2007, served to us by our favorite waiter, the multi-talented Eka Halim (he’s a professional photographer, as comfortable on a fashion shoot as on a bar mitzvah!). CS described the wine thus, “Deep garnet in color, medium bodied with soft tannins and a gentle wood influence. Smooth, round wine with blackberry and plum notes, with hints of tar and licorice.”

For dessert we shared two incredible creations by Pastry Chef Felencia Darius, now at Prime Butcher Baker. Warm Chocolate Cake with gingerbread ice cream and espresso sauce, the molten chocolate cake was superb and so was the sauce, but I expected more from the ice cream.

The evening’s crown, however, belongs to the Hazelnut Rocher, a hazelnut mousse with vanilla cream and a candied nut shell. Take my advise, folks, do not even think of leaving Sòlo without trying this one!

We had reservations for 6:00pm, by the time we finished at around 7:30pm there was not a single free table, not even in the private alcove we were in. People obviously know what’s good.

Though it was a superb dinner, and one that guarantees we’ll keep on revisiting again and again, we do have a minor criticism. We wish the presentations, as beautiful as they were, showed less repetitiveness.

SYR

Both Sòlo and its sister restaurant Prime Grill have a

Nine Day Menu.

17
Aug
11

Lamb Soup


I like lamb, it is one of my favorite meats. Whether in a soup or in any other form, if a dish has lamb in it I just have to try it. Whether it’s those superb  Slow Roasted Lamb Chops at Mike’s Bistro or the Lamb Soup at Yummy Grill, SYR and I – hardcore carnivores both – are in total agreement that lamb is in a class of its own, we love it!

Recently, while going over some old papers I found cooking notes by my long departed mother in them the following recipe:

Lamb Soup

Yields 4

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 ounces lean tender lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 cups chicken soup
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 inch piece lemongrass, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (I make my own from a recipe I found online, here)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 3/4 ounces bean sprouts snapped in half
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoonolive oil.

 Directions
  1. Trim away all the fat from the lamb and slice it thinly. Cut slices into bite sized pieces. Put the meat in a layer on a plate and sprinkle with the garlic and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Cover it and let marinate for one hour.
  2. In a saucepan bring the chicken stock, ginger, lemongrass, remaining soy sauce and the chili paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve the soup, drop the tomatoes, scallions, bean sprouts and cilantro leaves into the stock.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet, add the lamb and marinade. Strir fry the meat until is no longer red and divide among the 4 bowls.
  5. Add the hot soup to each bowl and serve immediately.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy. I did!
CS
12
Jul
10

Nine Days’ Specials – Part 1


Considering we do not eat meat during the Nine Day (which started last evening and runs through the 20th, the day of Tisha B’Av  – 9th of Av, when the Romans burned down the Second Temple. It continued smoldering until noon the next day.) meat restaurants either close down during this period or readjust to a special menu.

Though at very opposite ends of the price spectrum, these two restaurants – among others – offer special menus for the Nine Days. While one is a high end eatery, outstanding in its delicious and very imaginative gourmet dishes, Mike’s Bistro, the other is a more down to earth establishment with superb sushi, great appetizers and tasty, wholesome, fish dishes 18 Restaurant, very moderately priced.

Mike’s Bistro: Nine Days’ Menu

Cold Appetizers

  • Baby Spinach Salad red wine vinaigrette, boiled egg, tomatoes, red onions, chives
  • Garden Vegetable Salad tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, avocado, snow pea shoots, parsley & lemon vinaigrette
  • Portobello Mushroom and Arugula Salad balsamic reduction, red onions, enoki mushroom, crushed croutons, caesars style mushroom dressing
  • Fresh Legume Salad mixed legumes, marinated tomato, sprouts, white wine vinaigrette
  • *Roasted & Marinated Beet Salad candied walnuts, fresh citrus segments, orange beet vinaigrette, shaved endive, haricot vert

Roasted and Marinated Beet Salad

Hot Appetizers

  • Hand Shucked Corn Chowder cajun mirepoix, diced fish, chili oil, fresh herbs
  • Chipotle Spiced Bean Soup black rice, avocado, crispy corn tortilla, cilantro
  • *Porcini & Wild Mushroom Consomme acini di pepe, shitake mushrooms, sliced portobello, fresh herbs
  • Braised Royal Trumpet Mushrooms english pea puree, white asparagus, marinated tomato, mushroom glace, fresh herbs
  • Fresh Cod Fritters frisee, house-made remoulade sauce

Main Courses

  • Wild Striped Bass acini di pepe, fresh summer succotash, smoked vidalia onion vinaigrette
  • Mushroom Scented Rice Noodles edamame, sprouts, carrot puree, exotic mushrooms, toasted sunflower seeds
  • *Handmade Gnocchi “Ala Vodka” smoked salmon, fresh peas, fresh herbs
  • Chinese Style Steamed Market Fish pan charred napa cabbage,  ginger, scallions, garlic, sesame oil
  • Summer Squash Cannelloni spicy marinara sauce, breaded zucchini, fresh mint, extra virgin olive oil
  • Grilled Hawaiian “Walu” Fish marinated artichokes, peppers, beans, capers, lemon vinaigrette, olive tapenade

*denotes signature item

18 restaurant: Nine Days’ Menu

Sushi

Eighteen Fresh Crisp Salads

  • Eighteen Salad cucumbers, carrots, avocado, cherry tomatoes on top of mesclun, romaine lettuce
  • Salad Nicoise white tuna salad, capers, olives, avocado, egg, cherry tomatoes on top of mesclun, romaine lettuce
  • Grilled Fresh Salmon Salad grilled salmon steak on top of mesclun, romaine lettuce with assorted vegetables
  • Tuna Salad Platter

All salads come dressed with a choice of balsamic vinaigrette, red wine vinaigrette, Thousand Island dressing or dill dressing

  • Eighteen Tricolor Pasta Primavera

Eighteen Fresh Fish Selection

  • Fish N Chips
  • Pan Fried Filet of Sole
  • Broiled Filet of Sole
  • Salmon
  • Chilean Sea Bass

All fish served with grilled vegetables and choice of French Fries, mashed potatoes or basmati rice

Eighteen Tasty Side Dishes

  • Grilled Vegetables
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Basmati Rice
  • Homemade French Fries
  • Potato Salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Sweet Red Pepper

Just because we can’t eat meat doesn’t we can’t eat well!

CS

10
Feb
10

Mike’s Bistro


Mike’s Bistro (228, West 72nd Street; New York, NY 10023; Telephone: 212.799.391) is an elegant eatery serving wholesome, delicious gourmet fare. SYR and I recently enjoyed a great evening there.

SYR started with a delicious Portobello and Arugula Salad which came with Ceasar style dressing, drizzled with a port wine reduction, red onions, enoki mushrooms and fresh chives. The combination of two types of mushrooms and the port wine was incredibly flavorful.

I had a Beet Salad.

Beet Salad

It was made with roasted and marinated beet, shaved endives, chervil, candied walnuts, fresh orange slices and beet vinaigrette. It looked great and tasted better! I liked the contrast soft beets and the harder walnuts.

At Richard, the waiter’s, suggestion we then shared a Hawaiian Ahi and Citrus Crudo.

Hawaiian Ahi in Citrus Crudo

This Hawaiian tuna comes with shaved fennel and a citrus salad. Not only were the colors artistically combined, only a master chef using the freshest ingredients could have made such a perfect dish.

She followed with Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Braised Boneless Short Ribs

The ribs came with a barbecue glaze, cauliflower, and potato mash, braised kale, cilantro, and celery root sauce. Tender, juicy and full of flavor!

I had the Slow Roasted Lamb Chops.

Slow Roasted Lamb Chops

It came with freshly combined ratatouille, black bean puree, meyer lemon zest, aromatic spicy oil and cilantro. Flavorful and Juicy! Absolutely delicious!

SYR capped the meal with their Sorbet Sampler which came with a superb blueberry and cream, an interesting citron, an excellent raspberry, a great mango and very good passion fruit. I had the Sour Cherry, Bread Pudding. It comes with cherry and vanilla sauce, citrus segments and vanilla ice cream. Sweet without being overpowering, just perfect!

There are restaurants where the presentation is far better than the food’s taste, there are others where the taste is great but the presentation is mediocre. At Mike’s Bistro the presentation and the dish’ taste are just right!

CS

Mike's Bistro on Urbanspoon

***UPDATE***

Mike’s Pizzeria Italian Kitchen (654 Amsterdam Ave; New York, NY 10025; Telephone:212.362.0700) will now offer fresh Sushi, FOR DELIVERY ONLY. Not the gimmicky type of rolls that look great yet give you nothing, but wholesome, healthy, fresh, nutritious sushi rolls. Call them, you won’t regret it!




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