Tag Archives: price fix

Lincoln Ristorante

Lincoln Ristorante is now part of the Patina Group of restaurants. These guys are awesome, because if you sign up to their newsletter, they send you $50 off for your birthday. You can use the discount pretty much any time within a month of your birthday. So my wife and I decided to check this place out since it was just her birthday the other day. This joint offers a four-course meal for $94, which I thought was pretty awesome, especially considering how great the food is.

I was impressed with the cocktail menu, which sports a prosecco bar and an entire menu of negronis. We tried the caffe negroni, which, later on, was perfect with our desserts. Here’s a pic of it (I kinda made it look like a pussy on purpose):

The meal begins with some complimentary bread sticks and house made focaccia bread with whipped ricotta. This shit is addictive. If you eat a few rows of this stuff (they will bring out more), then you can just get the three course meal for $78.

Then a small dish of smoked trout came out for us, compliments of the chef. This was great.

I started with an escarole salad, and my wife had the octopus. The salad was awesome. I love escarole, and I loved seeing it used raw rather than the usual sautéed or braised. This salad had shaved, truffled sun chokes, sliced apples, radishes and grated cheese. It was delicious, and very large.

The octopus was nice. It came in a spicy tomato ragu with some perfectly cooked beans. I was happy to see more than one tentacle given. As far as portion sizes go, this place is way above average.

For my pasta course, I had conch pasta with octopus and guanciale. This was really nice, and the toasted breadcrumbs gave it a great texture.

My wife had lobster risotto with an arugula pesto. This was herbaceous and fresh, and contained lots of lobster meat. It ate a bit more like a thick soup than a traditional risotto though.

My wife went with the lamb shank for her main course. This was tremendous, and really tender. We couldn’t finish. It had pancetta, roasted chic peas, and other goodies underneath.

I had the venison loin, which was probably one of the best meat dishes I’ve eaten in a while. Certainly the best rendition of venison I’ve ever had.

I highly recommend giving this a try if you can. It was perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, and it had none of that typical iron flavor that you normally associate with game meats. It was mild yet full of flavor. I loved it!

Dessert was incredible. My wife had a trio of gelati. Pistachio stracciatella, toasted faro, and prune. The toasted faro (middle) was our favorite of the three, and tasted like the flavor of the cone of an ice cream cone. The prune was like an elevated rum raison, and the pistachio stracciatella was creamy and rich.

I had the creme fraiche coffee cake, which came with anisette gelato, crumble, bitter lemon coulis and ricotta pasticcera. This shit is crack! I fucking loved it.

Then, a pair of tasty marzipan coconut bites came out with the bill.

We can’t wait to go back. I think we will do the three course meal next time, since we were really full after four courses.

LINCOLN RISTORANTE
142 W 65th St
New York, NY 10023

Sonora Grill Prime

For our New Year’s Eve dinner in Playa del Carmen, we went to Sonora Grill Prime. They offered a set menu price fix meal. Here’s what we had:

The first items to arrive at the table was a baked bean and cheese dip with tortilla chips, and an array of dipping sauces.

And our drinks. Here is my wife’s lychee martini.

First, a pumpkin and squash soup (which was velvety smooth and really delicious) as well as a dried fruits salad with blue cheese (which was also great – I want dried fruits in all of my salads now).

For the entrees, there was a choice of roasted chicken, fish (I forget which kind) and beef. Obviously I got the beef, which was a filet mignon.

Mine was grilled and cooked nicely to medium rare, despite the waiter informing us that all of them would be cooked to medium. I guess they really wanted to streamline the process in the kitchen.

I was glad mine came out medium rare, as all of the beef here is good quality shit from the US.

My buddy’s filet, on the other hand, was taller and skinnier than mine – a completely different shape. And it was rare. He wasn’t pleased with it, but I liked mine at 8/10.

My wife tried the fish. It was “fishy” as they say, but not quite as aggressively flavored as something like a Long Island bluefish. I thought it was fine.

The dessert was bread pudding, and we all liked it.

If I am down here again, I would like to try some of their steaks from the regular menu. When I made the reservation here, I did not know they were offering a special, limited menu. I guess I should have known better, since that’s pretty much what every restaurant does in NYC.

I’ve decided to save a full 100-point review for this spot until I return. For now, I just scored the steak on its own.

SONORA GRILL PRIME
Calle 12 Nte 251
Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720
Playa del Carmen; Q.R., Mexico

Torrisi

I came here with my wife and her cousin for the ten course $100 price fix meal.

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It’s tough to get a rez here because it is such a tiny spot; very few tables:

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The ladies had a sparkling rose, and I tried three different beers, which seemed to pair nicely with the meal as I went through the courses. My favorite was the white rascal belgian style white ale.

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So here’s how shit went down in terms of food:

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Amuse:
Beggar’s purse with housemade buffalo mozzarella, tied up with chive string and filled with trout roe and crispy bread crumbs. This was a great, briny bite. I could pop these in my mouth like snacks all night.

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One:
Squash macchiato with brown butter and bay leaf apple cider and mulled spices. This was a great little shot of liquid, like a tea, or consommé soup.

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Two:
Japanese abalone sous vide with pickled and charred celery, hazelnut purée and chopped hazelnuts. This was really refreshing and delicate. I was wishing I had a huge bowl of it instead of a little salsa or french onion dip sized dish.

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Three:
East coast Blue crab in gelee minestrone with squash, preserved tomatoes, green beans, bread crumbs, black beans and basil pistou. I hardly had any crab in my serving, but otherwise it was pretty good. It was more like a salad than a soup for sure, due to the gelee technique used.

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Four:
The “mixed grill” course had a few components. First was a Rhode Island oyster with dill, smokey grilled cherry mignonette and fresh ground horseradish. This was an excellent bite. By far one of the better dishes served.

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Then came a trumpet royal/king mushroom “mille feuille in terrine” (lots of thin slices) that was seared in foie gras butter and topped with sea salt flakes. My favorite of the night. It was meaty, fatty, and packed with flavor. Wonderful texture too – nice crunch and bite to it on the edges, yet it was still soft like a mushroom at the same time.

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The last part of the mixed grill was a veal terrine made with tongue, tail, sweetbreads and carrot sausage with pickled fennel salad and smoked brioche pretzels. There were three mustards too: Bavarian, fig, and nectar. My favorite was the nectar. Since there were three of us dining, I was sort of hoping we would each get a slice of terrine. Not the case. I think it is usually one slice per two guests, so we did get a little more than what is typically served. Still not quite enough in my opinion.

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Five:
East coast diver scallop with super thinly sliced white and matsutaki mushrooms in a marsala bouillon with sliced chives. It sat on a nice display of bay leaf and crushed scallop shells. This was really pretty, and also tasty. The scallop was perfectly cooked and then sliced sashimi style.

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Six:
Scottish salmon tartare filled cannelloni with salmon roe, basil, crispy shallots and Meyer lemon zest. This was a great little log of pasta. I’ve never had salmon with pasta before, so it was a great surprise for me.

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Seven:
Sheep’s milk gnocchi with chestnut, chives and brown butter ragu with shallots and pecorino. This was a sweet pillow of pasta. Dessert pasta, almost. Very well done though.

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Eight:
Squab cacciatore skin-on breast with mulberry and walnut dumpling and juniper berry and walnut sauce. This was reminiscent of a duck dish. Perfectly executed breast and a great sweet yet savory sauce.

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Palate Cleanser:
Lemon ginger Italian ice. The ginger really gave it a great spicy kick. Loved it.

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Coffee:
Espresso for me, cappuccino for the ladies.

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Nine:
Whipped ricotta cheesecake with finger lime graham cracker dusting and olive oil, served in eggshells that sat on a porcelain rabbit’s ass area. Nice presentation. Great bite of cheesecake here. Very soft and creamy.

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Ten:
Italian rainbow/tricolor almond/orange sponge cake with chocolate ganache, almond slivers and custard. This was quintessential Italian. The back of the slice was the tricolor cookie/cake. It was beautiful, but not my type of dessert per se. Again I was expecting a third slice here since we were three diners. But again I think the regular portion is one slice for two diners. In this case it was enough for the three of us since none of us particularly loved this dish.

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So that’s about it. I liked the meal very much, but I felt it was a bit expensive for the small portion sizes (despite it being a ten course tasting menu I was still hungry afterwards). That said, I doubt I’d come back unless it was for some sort of special event. Here’s the bill for three people:

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We were sent home with a little box of desserts as well. Nice touch. Out of the items listed on the paper, my favorite was the spicy mango gumdrop thing.

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TORRISI IS CLOSED