Yesterday, a heartbeat before New Year’s, my husband and I were corralled into the Times Square area. I love walking by the tree in Rockefeller Center, but the crowds (and police pens at each street corner), make the experience this close to Christmas / New Year’s a mosh pit nightmare. Nevertheless, friends were visiting from out of town and had picked a meetup point the in the vicinity. So we braved it. The tree was pretty, we inadvertently photo-bombed a dozen snapshots, and we decided to eat at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain.
The restaurant, enormous and full, still managed to showcase a lively style. We were lucky enough to have a table for two in a cozy corner, interesting for crowd watching but removed from some of the elbow-nearness of the center four-tops. (And we chatted with the couple seated beside us, a lovely pair in their 60’s who brightened our dining experience). Now, onto the food.
Ninety percent of the reason that I selected Bar Americain (other than location) was for the Brussels sprout salad. I am a Brussels sprout fan (usually, I opt for roasted, but I am fully up for variation) and will definitely try to recreate this dish at home. It was fabulous!
My husband ordered grilled pizza with double smoked bacon, caramelized onions and toasted garlic for his appetizer. The bacon slabs were delicious (and complimented my salad nicely), but the cheese (mozzarella, I believe) and heft of the appetizer was a bit too much to be paired with the rib eye he also ordered (I eat Brussels sprouts, he eats heart attacks). He did say the rib eye was delicious.
My entree, lamb loin with quinoa, was good, but paled in comparison to the salad and subsequent dessert. There was spicy mustard in the sauce (not mentioned on the menu) and I am not a mustard fan. Alas. But, here comes dessert!
For dessert I ordered walnut espresso bread pudding with brown sugar Kahlua, mascarpone cream, and caramel sauce. It was literally one of the best desserts I have ever tasted (and I couldn’t finish it! How I tried! But I was just too full.). Phenomenal!
Ingredients for the Brussels Sprout Salad
- Brussels sprouts, shredded (definitely use a food processor or mandoline) and, I believe, raw
- Honey crisp apple, thinly sliced to the point of near transparency (again, I would use a mandoline here)
- Goat cheese
- Pomegranate seeds
- Apple cider vinaigritte
I don’t have exact ratios here and I will need to experiment a bit, but the Brussels sprouts were heaped on top, the goat cheese sprinkled lightly around, the honey crisp slices on bottom, and a very generous sprinkling of pomegranate color throughout. The apple cider vinaigrette was light and crisp and I will have to experiment with that, too. A definite re-order if ever we venture back. [Here’s experiment #1]