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« An EGGcellent evening, courtesy of Eggland's Best | Main | CLOSED: Dinner at Quattro Gastronomia Italiana »
Monday
Jun282010

Dinner at Casimir

*NOTE: This restaurant has since closed.*

  • Cuisine: French
  • Atmosphere: spacious, charming, romantic
  • Attire: smart-casual
  • Ideal for: date night, small groups, outdoor/garden dining, prixe-fixe menus available
  • Price: moderate; all a-la-carte items under $25
  • Phone: 212-358-9683
  • Location: 103 Avenue B (between 6th & 7th Streets)
  • Website: click *here*
  • Directionswww.hopstop.com/?city=newyork
  • 

    *All photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

    Blame it on all of the wine we had enjoyed before our meal-or the fact that I was on a date with an ex-boyfriend-but I can't seem to recall my last dinner experience at Casimir.  This may explain why my first return visit since the fall of 2006 was so pleasantly, um, sobering.

    For an East Village restaurant space, I found Casimir to be rather large.  Aside from the fact that there is an adjacent Moroccan-themed lounge (with its own street entrance), the dining room is comprised of a full-sized bar and both table and booth seating.  Beyond this, you will find a lovely outdoor garden which is perfect for dining or drinking al-fresco.

    Casimir: street view

    Casimir: outdoor garden diningAfter we were seated, our server handed Anjie and I the food, drink, and prix-fixe dinner menus.  Two ice waters and a basket of sliced baguette + butter arrived shortly thereafter.  Due to the dining room's uncomfortably warm temperature (it was 90-degrees outside and Casimir was NOT running the A/C!), the ice in our drinks melted as quickly as the perspiration beads rolled down our backs. 

    Opting out of the $19.95/person prixe-fixe special, Anjie and I ordered our meal from the a la carte dinner menu. 

    Casimir: sliced baguette & butterCasimir: le menuFor appetizers, Anjie and I decided to split the cheese plate and the evening's special, a white gazpacho. 

    Blue, brie, and comte (or was it manchego?) cheeses encircled one of the most lovely salads I've had in recent memory: julienned apple, halved red grapes, flat-leaf parsley, and walnuts were tossed in a dressing that was rich enough to bind the ingredients, yet light enough not overpower them. 

    Casimir: cheese plateWhile the white gazpacho sounded ideal for a sweltering summer evening, "grapes, walnuts, milk," I found it rather underwhelming and soupy, like a puree of sorts.  Imagine a watered-down bowl of unflavored yogurt with an awkward salty aftertaste.

    Casimir: white gazpachoFor my entree, I chose the steak frites.  A perfectly grill-marked chunk of rib eye steak, approximately the size of my face, was served alongside piping-hot French fries and a small mound of dressed micro-greens.  The rib eye was slightly overcooked (I asked for it to be prepared "medium") and marbled with fat, the latter being standard for this particular cut of beef...and the reason why I rarely order it.  However, each time I dipped a crispy fry or slice of meat in to the accompanying peppercorn gravy-riddled with butter, cream, whole peppercorns, and jus/stock-all of my troubles seemed to disappear. 

    Casimir: steak fritesAs if baguette and butter, a cheese plate, gazpacho, steak and French fries weren't enough, Anjie and I decided that we were deserving of a dessert course.  It had been a stressful day, after all.  We chose the profiteroles which, at Casimir, are halved puffs (like a cream puff) filled with vanilla ice cream instead pastry cream.  A heavy drizzle of rich, warm, dark-chocolate sauce crowned the dessert.

    Casimir: profiteroles Conclusion: with the exception of our aloof model/waitress, and the dining room's outrageously-warm temperature, I enjoyed my meal at Casimir.  While the food is decent, I think that the real draw to this restaurant is its charming and romantic space filled with French nick-nacks and the tranquil outdoor garden.

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