Saturday, August 11, 2012

Todd English Food Hall New York

Takes you back in time
The weather this summer in NYC has been balmy.  I was looking for  place to have dinner and one of my colleagues suggested that I try Todd English Food Hall in the basement of the Plaza Hotel.  So I took the trek over from Midtown East in 85 degree sprinkly weather.  I have to admit even in the dead of summer NYC is the place to take a nice walk.  The entrance to take into the Plaza is the opposite side of Central Park.  As you head down the escalator you feel you are descending into a different era, it is substantially darker and the fixtures are more in tune with old Paris or NYC in the 40's.  There are several specialized eateries and stores in the area and as you walk back you come upon the Food Hall.  Make sure on your way out to check out the specialty items including Cakes and Macaroons from France, and various Cheeses and sausages from around the world.  So you can sit down and grab a coffee or a beer and have some lighter fare

Large Menu positive spin something for everyone
Although I hate to eat alone it is always easier to find a seat at a counter so even though there was a wait I got seated immediately.  The restaurant has several food bar sections that are in charge of the different styles of food that are served for example I was sitting at the counter of the Asian Bar  that was in charge of Dumplings and Edamine.....

The menu is very large both physically and content wise and quite honestly I struggled on what to buy that would represent Todd English's cuisine.    So after I had picked off the menu and put together more of a pedestrian tapas meal I remembered it was Restaurant Week and finally looked at the smaller addendum menu to find a great offering for $35.  I immediately tracked down my waiter and change my order to the special. 

Ladies out on the town colorful Burrata
Shredded Beef Tacos No Hamburger Here
Sitting next to me were two out on the town ladies that had ordered an awesome Burrata, the colors were spectacular and the portions were outstanding.  My first dish was the Shredded Beef Tacos.  They were enough for a dinner 2 large tacos stuffed with shredded beef topped off with ricotta, cabbage, tomato and jalapenos.  These were perfectly prepared and were very tasty.  I was reminded of the time I was at Bobby Flay's Taco's and Tequila night at the Food Network Food and Wine Celebration in NYC.  Todd English was personally making tacos. 

Even though the Red Grouper portion looked small it was perfect
Perfect Size
Following the Tacos was Red Grouper with a very light Au Gratin Potato.  The Grouper was delicious and just the perfect portion after the tacos. Also served on the plate was a warm salad I am not sure that the salad meant to be warm, the only complaint was that it had a lot of orange pits that I had to gracefully dispose of.  As with every Restaurant Week Menu you aways get a desert and quite frankly I was not looking forward to any more food but to my surprise the size of the desert was a perfect size.  To sum it up I would definitely go back for the Food and Ambiance my only complaint would be the service they were not front and present.  My first measure on service is whether or not they keep my water glass full without me asking.  Unfortunately they failed at that.  Make sure when you leave that you check out the store they have a great Chocolate section where you can find some local confections.