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Monday
Sep272010

Dinner at La Mediterranee

  • Cuisine: French
  • Atmosphere: intimate, quaint, old-fashioned
  • Attire: smart-casual
  • Ideal for: small groups, 1x1, date-night, romantic, charming, authentic plates, prix-fixe
  • Price: affordable (prix-fixe) to moderate - all a-la-carte menu items under $33
  • Phone: 212-755-4155
  • Location: 947 2nd Avenue (between 50th & 51st Streets)
  • Website: click *here*
  • Directionswww.hopstop.com/?city=newyork
  • *All photos from this meal can be viewed on Flickr

    Judging by her feminine grace and old-world charm, it may be hard for diners to discern that La Mediterranee is located just steps from Manhattan's bustling 2nd Avenue.  From the live piano music and its older, well-heeled clientele - to the various tabletops enveloped by Provencal linens and twinkling votive-candlelight - this unassuming French proves to be a welcomed throwback to a bygone era.

    Dinner at La Mediterranee: a look inside

    Dinner at La Mediterranee: table-sideAfter stopping by a fabulous event at the new J. Crew Bridal boutique on Madison Avenue, I made a quick dash downtown to meet Ron for dinner at LM (La Mediterranee, for short). 

    Within moments of being seated at our cozy two-top, a young man approached, crowning each of our bread plates with our choice of wheat or white.  A small dish containing a chilled pat of butter arrived simultaneously.

    Dinner at La Mediterranee: a slice of wheat and a slice of white + butterAs we awaited the arrival of our appetizers, Ron and I could not help but survey the dining room and "people watch."  Some of our favorite moments/observations included:

    *All ages are guestimates/assumptions*

    • A twenty/thirty-something year-old female of Amazonian proportions was dining with her adorably pint-sized grandmother.  Due to granny's gradual hearing loss, the entire meal-time conversation was made public, as Amazon-woman had to resort to yelling in order to be heard.
    • A sassy eighty year-old vixen sat herself down at the closest two-top table to the handsome pianist.  Just as she began batting her falsies and puckering those red-stained lips, her husband of god-knows-how-many-years plopped down from across the table.  The happy couple toasted over heavy-pours of champagne.

    Saved by the belle!  Just before our wandering eyes got us in to trouble, our appetizers arrived.  Ron and I chose to split the following two:

    Coquilles Saint Jacques

    Two perfectly-seared scallops - each the size of a hockey-puck - arrived under a warm blanket of rich mushroom veloute, topped with minced parsley and chunks of fresh 'shrooms.   

    Dinner at La Mediterranee: Coquilles Saint JacquesFrisee Salad

    A bed of tangled frisee greens was dressed in a light vinaigrette and topped with crumbled bacon, minced shallots, buttery house-made croutons, and a poached egg.  While I would have preferred that the restaurant use a thicker slab of bacon - not the thin strips a-la-Oscar-Meyer - I found much flavor and delight in this salad.

    Dinner at La Mediterranee: Frisée aux lardonsWhile Ron opted for the Mussels Mariniere, I chose the Filet Mignon with Bordelaise Sauce and Pommes Frites for my entree.  Plated atop a shallow pool of warm Bordelaise sauce was a perfectly-charred, 1- 1/2"-thick slab of beef that was cooked to a precise "medium-rare."  Long, thin French fries were lightly dusted with minced parsley and sea-salt; placement-wise, they served as a pseudo moat by encircling the steak.  

    Dinner at La Mediterranee: petite filet mignon w/ Bordelaise sauce and pommes fritesConclusion from her transporting interior, animated clientele, and live pianist - to the affordably-priced menus and delicious fare, I was very impressed with my entire experience at LM and would return without question or hesitation.

    To Ron: thank you, again, for a lovely meal.

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