415 Lafayette (Noho)
This was my 3rd choice, after Artisanal and Spice Market, for restaurant week. I've passed this restaurant a lot and always wondered about it - I think it only opened up last year. First of all, if you are looking for ambiance, and you're an older business-type looking to impress a younger female, this might be the spot for you. Dark, lots of wood, dark, a nonsensical backlit backdrop of tree trunks, and a clubby bar downstairs with private, unisex bathrooms (pee on seats - yuck).
I came w/ half of last year's restaurant week group. Sadly, Alex was not there with us because we found out last minute he had to leave the country. No worries, I found a last minute date in fellow gourmand Erin, who I've known since 8th grade. We started with carpaccio and beet salad with mache and goat cheese. The carpaccio was good - not too hard to mess that one up. The beet salad was good also, although a little too heavy on the goat cheese. Chris got split pea soup with bacon, which he said was average. For the main courses, braised short ribs with roasted yam puree and pork chop (medium) with ratatouille and gigante beans. Short ribs were tender and good. Pork chop was also good - the sauce was a little fruity tasting but it went well with the meat. It was tender and juicy - I'm glad it's more acceptable now to eat it less done. By the time dessert arrived we were struggling. The mocha mousse was smooth...and...mocha tasting. The upside down apple crisp was average. It all came on a plate with a shot of milk though - kind of novel. If it hadn't been for restaurant week I'd never have eaten here. It was good. But I wouldn't go out of my way to go back. I'd prefer something a little less...hip?