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xoxo, 

Lindsay

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Monday
Aug032009

Dinner at Apiary




  • Cuisine: New American
  • Atmosphere: intimate, sophisticated, Jonathan Adler meets the primary color wheel
  • Attire: business-casual
  • Ideal for: 1x1, small groups, date night, wine aficionados, foodies
  • Must try: Tuscan Mushroom Soup
  • Price: Appetizers, all under $15; Entrees, all under $27
  • Reservations: Via phone or opentable.com
  • Phone: (212) 254-0888
  • Website: www.apiarynyc.com
  • Location: 60 3rd Avenue, (at 11th Street)

 

 

*All of the photos from my meal can be viewed on Flickr

What’s the space like?

A chocolate-hued vented wooden partition (think along the lines of West Elm) separates Apiary’s bar/small seating area from the main dining room, creating a bold contrast to the restaurant’s white-washed walls. Designed and furnished by the uber-luxe contemporary furniture atelier, Ligne Roset, no interior detail has been left unturned. Think: Deep-red plush chairs, chandelier-motif lamps and Lucite sconces, espresso-colored wooden furniture (tables, beams, bar and bar stools), and overhead lighting so perfect that you’ll swear you are on a professional movie set.

How was the service?

Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable.

Did you drink?

I had two champagne flutes of the “Peach Buzz,” a bubbly cocktail made from brut and peach nectar. Refreshing, delightful and perfect for a steamy summer evening!

How was the food?

While all of the entrees on Apiary’s menu looked fantastic, I ultimately opted for two appetizers:

  • Tuscan Mushroom Soup: I can’t recall eating a soup with more robust flavors and electrifying textures: Peaking out of the rich saffron-colored broth were sliced mushrooms, melt-in-your-mouth stewed tomatoes, freshly-grated parmesan cheese, and crunchy, buttery sourdough croutons.
  • Diver Sea Scallops: Two perfectly cooked scallops arrived in a shallow broth that was infused with chorizo-oil. The mollusks were topped with eggplant caviar (similar in taste to eggplant caponata) and lightly-dressed watercress. The bouquet of bold colors was certainly a feast for the eyes: White scallops with seared golden crust, emerald-green watercress and eggplant, and soft red and orange hues from the chorizo oil. My only gripe would be: I thought that the shellfish could have seared just a bit longer, as nothing excites my tastebuds more than the salty, buttery crust that forms courtesy of pan-frying.

Did you order dessert?

Yes, we did (sigh). The dessert menu was simply too attractive to pass up, so the three of us girls chose to equally split two:

  • Blackberry Financier: Perched atop a thin splash of blackberry puree was a circular "cake" approximately 3-inches in diameter and about 3/4-inch thick. The financier was topped with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream and a light dusting of powdered sugar. For my first (and what I thought would be my last) bite of the dessert, I made sure to incorporate every component: Blackberry puree, still-warm financier "cake," and ice-cold vanilla ice cream. Warm, buttery, crunchy and moist, the financier tasted like a par-baked, blackberry-studded piece of Walker's Shortbread. There was a hint of salt from the cake that swam to the surface when the combination of sweet ice cream and blackberry puree engaged in a flavor menage et trois. Absolutely splendid!
  • Warm Valrhona Flourless Chocolate Cake: I used to think that "flourless chocolate cake/molten chocolate cake" was an idiot-proof dessert. Shoot, I remember buying my mom a "molten chocolate cake mix" at Williams Sonoma and bringing it to Texas for Thanksgiving. After I successfully baked six-ramekin's worth, I was confident that any old Joe could! And that was until I tasted a number of really dried out, flavorless versions. However, I was quite impressed by Apiary's: The moist and spongey cake gave way to a warm, liquid-chocolate interior. When paired with a spoonful of homemade vanilla ice cream, I can't think of a sweeter way to end a fantastic meal.

What’s pricing like?

I found Apiary's prices to be pretty competitive to restaurants categorically similar in cuisine and location.

Here’s a snapshot of what my personal contribution to the meal looked like:

  • (2) Peach Buzz cocktails: $10/glass
  • Tuscan Mushroom Soup: $8
  • Diver Sea Scallops: $13
  • Blackberry Financier: $8 (then divided by the three of us)
  • Warm Valrhona Flourless Chocolate Cake: $8 (then divided by the three of us)

Will you return to Apiary?

I will absolutely return to Apiary! Great atmosphere, service, food and prices!

xo,
TLB

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