Daily Archives: March 4, 2011

>Dovetail: 103 West 77th street. New York NY


>I’m convinced that having a compatible dining partner  is almost as elemental to NYC life as having a stack of delivery menus, comfortable-yet-fashionable shoes and a metrocard. ‘B’ and I try to go out to eat once a month or so. We have intellectually stimulating conversations, share a love for trying interesting restaurants, enjoy schmoozing with the waitstaff, and share a similar schedule with Fridays off. Perfect!
Today we went to Dovetail on the Upper West Side. I always preview the menu online before I go to a restaurant and was instantly drawn in to their website with such beautiful photos showing inventive and creative dishes. http://www.dovetailnyc.com/  I had an idea of what I’d order, but as always planned to ask the waiter for his suggestions. Since I have very few dislikes when It comes to food, I almost always take staff recommendations to heart and today was no different.
We each ordered a glass of wine, a Sauvignon Blanc for me and a Rose for ‘B’. I loved mine right away, but ‘B’ was not thrilled with hers and switched to a Pinot Noir that made her much happier. I wondered if they’d charge for the rejected Rose, but they did not. Excellent customer service. Speaking of which, our waiter was fun and friendly and helpful. I took recommendations for all of my courses and he was spot on. Judging by the very appealing prix fixe menu, I think it’s hard to go wrong. Everything sounded delicious.
An amuse-bouche was brought out first. It was a mushroom gelee with radish. Very interesting texturally, but I doubt I’d want more than that one little taste. It made me think of mushroom flavored gefilte fish jelly. I guess I’m not a big fan of gelatinous foods because I will always associate them with that dreaded fish jelly that I always had to scrape over to the side of my Passover plate as a kid. I won’t hold it against anyone except whoever came up with that horrible idea in the first place. We also got two pieces of warm, fresh, cheddar cornbread that was totally scrumptious.
For my first course, because the waiter recommended it and because it sounded whimsical and silly, I ordered the salsify soup with marshmallow, chives and apple. Wow- SUCH a great presentation when the waiter brought the bowl of marshmallows and apples out, and then poured the hot soup over it at the table. The small, perfectly cubed homemade marshmallows started to slowly melt into foamy, sweetness and were an amazing compliment to the hearty, earthy soup. The apples were peeled and cut into tiny little marbles and the combination of all of those flavors and textures was incredible. This kind of creativity is what I love most about NYC restaurants.

For my entree I had the hake, a fish I don’t believe I’ve tried before. It was flaky and light, with a bright, lemony flavor, peppers, potatoes and artichokes. A great choice for lunch, and the perfect portion size. I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but I prefer a small portion, especially at lunch time. A tiny plate of excellent quality beats out mass quantities of anything in my book. This was satisfying without being filling, and to walk away from a three course lunch without feeling full to the brim is a major perk to me. 
My dessert was, as it always is, the chocolate option on the menu. I am a big fan of the salty/sweet trend that’s been going around and was excited to try their take on it. I was not particularly excited about the beer ice cream that came with it, but figured it was worth a shot. The cake was not at all as dense as it looked. Sort of light actually, with a deep dark chocolate flavor that spoke of top-notch ingredients. The salted caramel pretzels and beer flavored ice cream were very ‘take it or leave it’ for me, I would have preferred just a bigger hunk of the cake all by itself.
Overall, Dovetail is a definite winner in my book. I would happily go back- and would actually be really interested in going back for their Monday night veggie menu which looks amazing. Who wants to join me?